A Big Mac and a Coke: No Thanks!

A Big Mac and a Coke have not been some Australians’ idea of happiness in recent months. Something about the fast food and drink mob inflames the passions. Two of my posts this week for Global Voices Online look at activists’ responses to the two biggest global names – McDonald’s and Coca Cola Amatil.

Firstly, some old-fashioned protest action:

Residents’ opposition to a new McDonald’s in the Melbourne hills suburb of Tecoma has linked direct action with online campaigning. In October 2012 an administrative tribunal overturned the local Council’s unanimous decision to reject a Maccas’s proposal for a new fast food outlet.
Australia: Locals Fight to Stop McDonald’s in their Hills

Plenty of fire on both sides. In a rare response to the increasingly personal debate, Global Voices closed comments at 293, after removing a few that had been flagged.

In separate action, Coca Cola has faced a national campaign:

A nationwide campaign against Coca Cola has followed their successful legal challenge on March 4, 2013 to container deposit legislation in the Australia’s Northern Territory.
Coca Cola Machine ‘Out of Order’ in Australia

An anonymous Facebook group ‘Out of Order’ have been encouraging people to put the signs on vending machines. The Australian Coca Cola facebook page has nearly a million Likes. Can’t help feeling that the protesters are just nipping at the heels of the transnationals.

First Dog on the Moon responded at Crikey:

20 comments on “A Big Mac and a Coke: No Thanks!

  1. WTF???? I hope NTers can keep the boycott going.

    And WTF about the Tecoma council’s decision being overturned?

    I will be extremely pissed off if they try it here in SA. We’ve had deposits on soft drink cans and bottles for years. In fact, we had deposits on bottles before there were cans.

    Kids collected bottles & returned them to shops to get pocket money, adults collected them and bought lounge suites with the proceeds.

    Hopefully there will be a sustained national campaign against Coke & Maccas, causing a rethink.

    I can’t understand why Coke is against the deposit. They don’t have to collect the cans and refund the deposit, it keeps the bloody things off roadsides and provides jobs.

  2. And if you post their empty bottles and cans back to them always remember to put a stamp on them

    If not they have to pay the return postage to get their garbage back

  3. A good DVD to watch is McLibel. Two English activists who used to campaign outside of McDonald stores were sued for millions as Americans do. They had no money and the whole idea of suing them was so that McDonald could get an apology from them saying nasty things about their wholesome burgers.
    They would not play the game McDonald’s way. It went to court representing themselves. It was one of the first case to be financed from the internet contributions. It was a PR disaster for McDonalds. They had wall to wall QC’s. From memory it went on for 2 or3 years and the Big Wigs from America flew over to come to some settlement but the activists wanted the case to continue.
    McDonalds won on a couple of points , spent over 10 mill and trashed their brand(?).
    It went to European court and was quashed

  4. Put out of order signs on vending machines. What is the biggest selling product in Australian supermarkets? Going to put closed signs on their doors?

    An exercise in pathetic pissantism if there was one. HAHAHAHAH!

    Good luck fighting McDonalds here too. Most stores are mum and dad franchises but you lot have never cared about your fellow Australians.

    So what if the food is not the healthiest, Australians are still free to make their own choices so WTF are you going to do to stop it?

    Would be interesting to see the commentators here in the flesh. I bet most of you are overweight and unfit.

  5. At home we have a wool bale bag that we put our empties in, when its full we take it to the local bottle merchant and get between $40 to $50 for them @10 cents per container. Have been doing it all my life. Many pensioners, people on the dole, youth groups and charities do bottle (cans, cartons) collecting to raise extra cash…..and thats a just one plus…… cleaner streets and surrounds ….and a resourse recycled to be used again. Its a win, win situation.
    Scraps, can’t claim to be fit (50+) but as a concreter I can claim to be not overweight, havn’t got a six-pack anymore, more like 4 twist tops and a long-neck. 😀

  6. When I was living not far from Byron Bay, there was a huge campaign to try to keep Maccas out of the area..and I might add, fortunately a successful one. Apart from Maccas basically sending small independent providers out of business..who can make a hamburger and expect to compete with the might of a McDonald’s advertising campaign aimed mostly at young people and children, also a well noted problem concerning a McDonalds is littering. This may not be an extensive problem with suburban McDonalds but it almost always is with tourist destinations. Areas have been basically turned into rubbish dumps once a McDonalds arrives in town.

  7. So the wishes of the good citizens of Tecoma count for nothing, scaper? It’s their suburb; surely they’re entitled to have a say in the sort of development that occurs in their suburb.

    I’d say Tecoma is full of mums & dads, but you seem to care only for a select few.

    I’m sure Maccas can find another suburb to inflict with their products. And it’s not as if there is a shortage of Maccas palaces of junk food.

    What is the biggest selling product in supermarkets? Bananas?

  8. The good people of Tecoma? More like the minority busy body NIMBYS!

    Seen that many times over the years. The latest being the vocal minority in my area agitating to stop a bus depot in an industrial area. Reason being…it will increase traffic. Idiots!

    These idiots have no rights to stop a legitimate business from opening their doors or to determine people’s diet choices.. The only right they have is to not purchase the product.

    So what is your BMI, Jane? Let me guess…somewhere around 26?

    What is the difference between produce and product?

  9. Min, the Arboretum for which I volunteer is half a block from our local Maccas and guess what our main litter is.. 😉 … the rest blows in from the Plaza across the road 🙄 but there are never any cans or bottles as they have been picked up to cash in.

  10. So what is your BMI, Jane? Let me guess…somewhere around 26?

    Gracious alive, scaper, I neither know nor care, but thanks for the snark. Pity it was completely wasted.

    According to my research, bananas are supermarkets’ biggest seller. Go figure.

    I am not a contributor to the banana statistic, 2 members of the house hold won’t eat them and the other 2 only occasionally. I loathe banana cake, so hold the bananas.

    My biggest supermarket purchases are bread, wholemeal & grain only, of course and vegetables. Rarely cake or biscuits & no soft drinks ever; diabetes runs in the husband’s family and he is an insulin dependent diabetic who also takes aspirin. Meat from the butcher.

    Me. I haven’t been to the quack for nearly 25 years, no tablets, nasal sprays, asthma meds, blah, blah, blah.

    We very very rarely eat junk food. Possibly because the nearest fish & chip shop is 25kms away & Maccas, Hungry’s & KFC are 150km away, but it’s irrelevant because we don’t eat the stuff anyway.

    I generally cook 3 meals/day, although I detest cooking. The sooner that crap is replaced by a tablet, the better, imo.

    WRT the Maccas in Tecoma, Min has made a very pertinent point. What about those unfranchised mum & dad delis which Maccas will drive out of business, or are those mums & dads dispensable?

  11. And why is it a huge victory for anyone that empty coke bottles and cans will just be strewn all over the landscape?

    And frankly why does it matter a toss to Coke that there is a deposit on their containers-they don’t have to collect or refund the deposit?

    Perhaps the NT should ban the sale of Coke there. The hip pocket is a powerful motivator for both large companies and ordinary folk.

  12. At Wallsend, west of Newcastle, McDonald’s bought a series of housing blocks on a major thoroughfare and applied to Newcastle City Council to open a 6am-midnight store with about 50 parking spaces.

    Resident and business opposition was high. The residents did not want the rubbish problem, the noise nearby, etc.

    The businesses fought McDonald’s claims about the “creation” of “hundreds” of part-time and casual jobs. Economic modelling was able to show that more jobs would be lost from m noodle-bars, fish-n-n-chip shops, pizzerias, cub bistros, pub bistros, existing takeaways, cafes, etc. than McDonald’s could claim to create..

    Council rejected Macca’s under immense pressure. McDonald’s did the only thing they could … rented a standard shop front in the local Wallsend Plaza that’s limited to 7am to 9pm six days per week and 8am-7pm Sundays.

  13. What do McDonalds and masturbation have in common ?

    They both seem like a good idea at the time, but you always feel lousy afterwards.


  14. Sounds like a risque christian joke to me (sinner)…… tut, tut …. and if you feel lousy after then maybe your not doing it right……. and of course I’m talking about the Maccas 😀

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