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Anti-McDonald’s Ad Campaign Coming

September 7, 1999

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is preparing a public relations assault on McDonald’s that will include billboards depicting a bloody, slaughtered cow’s head and a caption: ``Do you want fries with that? McDonalds. Cruelty to go.″

PETA also plans to issue stickers, bumper stickers, posters, T-shirts and print advertisements with the cow’s head and other disturbing images, such as a drawing of Ronald McDonald holding a bloody butcher knife and a dead chicken. The ad calls the McDonald’s clown ``Son of Ron _ America’s Biggest Serial Killer.″

Walt Riker, a McDonald’s spokesman, said the PETA ad campaign is ``unwarranted and tasteless and disgusting, and I’m sure it will turn off a vast majority of Americans who might see it.″

Riker said McDonald’s remains committed to animal welfare and will work with other groups on the issue. He declined to identify those groups.

McDonald’s already has made some reforms, such as implementing training at suppliers’ slaughterhouses, Riker said. The company also hired Temple Grandin, an animal welfare expert at Colorado State University, as a consultant.

PETA has recommended a number of actions that McDonald’s can take, such as ensuring that animals are killed without prolonged suffering and that chickens are allowed to roam free, and selling veggie burgers nationwide. The chain already sells veggie burgers in some restaurants in New York.

PETA’s campaign follows what it said was the breakdown of talks with McDonald’s over steps the company can take to reduce cruelty to animals that are slaughtered for food.

The campaign begins Oct. 1 when two billboards go up in the Norfolk area, where the 600,000-member animal-rights group has its headquarters. PETA also will try to put up billboards in other cities, including Chicago, near McDonald’s Oak Brook, Ill., headquarters, said Bruce Friedrich, PETA’s vegetarian campaign coordinator.

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