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McDonald's campaign "Cruelly deceptive"

9 February 2004

McDonald's campaign "Cruelly deceptive"

Fast food giant McDonald's has been accused of making deceptive and misleading claims in their recent advertisement, promoting their "Farm Fresh" eggs.

SAFE, New Zealand's largest and oldest animal rights organisation has lodged a formal complaint with the Advertising Standards Complaints Board regarding McDonald's recent newspaper advertisement claiming that they only ever use "Farm Fresh" eggs .

"The term 'Farm Fresh' misleads consumers into believing that the eggs they consume are free range, where in fact these eggs are produced under cruel battery cage conditions", says Hans Kriek, SAFE Campaign Director.

"There is widespread confusion about what 'Farm Fresh' really means. An Australian study of egg consumers found two out of three egg buyers to be unaware of the true nature of the eggs they were buying. With one third believing (wrongly) that 'Farm Fresh' meant free to roam".

"For the average New Zealander the term 'Farm Fresh' has connotations of the outdoors, such as fresh air and green pastures, rather then the industrial sheds confining tens of thousands of hens in small wire cages. Clearly this term is used to divert attention of the rather unpalatable reality."

"SAFE is calling on McDonald's and other food retailers such as supermarkets and restaurants to be honest about the true origins of their eggs. That way, those opposed to the battery cage system no longer inadvertently buy a product they consider cruel and inhumane."

Given the huge public aversion to the battery cage SAFE believes that the continued use of misleading claims such as 'Farm Fresh' will undermine public confidence in the integrity of food retailers. SAFE therefore wants to see the Advertising Standards Complaints Board to set a precedent by taking immediate action and force McDonald's to withdraw their deceptive advertisement.


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