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  • Quick letter to McDonald’s USA “Contact us” website re “Mr James” (UPDATED: Compare to Subway Sandwiches’ J-speaking NJ shills)

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on September 6th, 2009

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    Hi Blog.  Just sent this out this evening to McDonald’s USA’s “Contact Us” section on their website (since McDonald’s Japan is certainly giving the “Mr James” issue short shrift).  FYI.  Debito

    Hello McDonald’s USA:

    You might be interested to read my column in the Japan Times talking about what’s wrong with McDonald’s Japan’s “Mr James” Campaign:
    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20090901ad.html

    It has received similar attention in the San Francisco Chronicle:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/09/02/apop090209.DTL

    TIME Magazine:
    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1918246,00.html

    South China Morning Post (Hong Kong):
    http://www.debito.org/?p=4176

    and McDonald’s Japan CR Director Kawaminami’s rather embarrassing letter defending “Mr James”:
    http://www.debito.org/?p=4243

    Not to mention Facebook’s “I Hate Mr James” page (now at 223 members): http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=136293508102

    Perhaps it’s time to consider pulling the plug on this campaign before it embarrasses your organization any further?

    Thanks for your attention.

    http://www.mcdonalds.com/contact/contact_us.html

    ENDS

    =================================

    UPDATE:  Note how Subway Sandwiches handles NJ shills.  Courtesy of and commentary by Erich:

    I spotted this the other day when buying lunch!  The two foreign characters in this ad by Subway are treated fairly!

    The girl on the left speaks in katakana, but it is a logical necessity since she is just naming food and saying “set”, which is normally written in katakana anyway.  The man on the right speaks in proper japanese, using kanji instead of katakana for the word “vegetable”. I think the McDonald’s advertising agency should see this as an example of the right thing to do…

    subwayNJshills2009
    http://www.subway.co.jp/campaign/index.html

    http://www.subway.co.jp/campaign/image/main1.jpg

    ENDS

    9 Responses to “Quick letter to McDonald’s USA “Contact us” website re “Mr James” (UPDATED: Compare to Subway Sandwiches’ J-speaking NJ shills)”

    1. Durf Says:

      Since McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd. is the biggest shareholder in McDonald’s Holdings Japan, you might want to send your messages a bit farther north, too.

      http://www.mcd-holdings.co.jp/stocks/situation.html

      – I looked at McD’s Canada’s website. They only provide a snailmail address.

    2. Manule Says:

      Absolutetly yes, and to McJ, if you want to portray NJ in your adds do it with respect and consideration or lose credibility and costumers. I’ve always prefered subways’ anyway.

    3. debito Says:

      Here’s the answer I got from McDonald’s USA to my letter above. Cookie-cutter, got a problem take it to McD’s Japan. Guess who’s not eating McD’s ever again. Debito

      From: McDonalds.CustomerCare@us.mcd.com
      Subject: Message from McDonald’s USA
      Date: September 7, 2009 6:15:30 PM JST
      To: debito@debito.org

      Hello Debito:
      Thank you for taking the time to contact us about a McDonald’s commercial in Japan. Customer feedback is very important to us and we appreciate this opportunity to respond to your concerns.

      First, we’re sorry you are disappointed with this commercial. It’s certainly never our intent to offend anyone. Your comments have been shared with our advertising staff in Japan. Please know your feedback is helpful and will be considered in the future planning of commercials in these countries. If you’d still like to contact our office in Japan to share your feelings personally, they can be reached at:

      JAPAN
      McDonald’s Co. (Japan) Ltd.
      Shinjuku I-Land Tower
      5-1 Nishi Shinjuku 6 Chome
      Chinjuku, Tokyo 163-13
      Japan
      Phone* : 81-3-3344-1063
      Fax* : 81-3-3344-6982
      Website* : http://www.mcdonalds.co.jp/
      * U.S. customers, dial 011 + before an international number, except in Canada, dial 1 + number.

      Once again, thank you for contacting McDonald’s.
      Lisa
      McDonald’s Customer Response Center

      ref#:6306359

      ————————————————————————————————————–

      You wrote:

      Hello McDonald’s USA. You might be interested to read my column in the Japan Times talking about what’s wrong with McDonald’s Japan’s “Mr James” Campaign:
      http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20090901ad.html
      It has received similar attention in the San Francisco Chronicle:
      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/09/02/apop090209.DTL
      TIME Magazine:
      http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1918246,00.html
      South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
      http://www.debito.org/?p=4176
      and McDonald’s Japan CR Director Kawaminami’s rather embarrassing letter defending “Mr James”
      http://www.debito.org/?p=4243
      And Facebook’s “I Hate Mr James” page (now at 223 members)
      http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=136293508102

      Perhaps it’s time to consider pulling the plug on this campaign before it embarrasses your organization any further? Thanks for your attention.

    4. carl Says:

      Maybe it’s just me, but the NJ in this ad, despite being able to “speak” good Japanese, seem to look pretty stereotypical, too.

      – Of course. The point is that McDonald’s is being particularly egregious by even alienating “Mr James’s” very utterances in katakana.

    5. john k Says:

      Seems McD does get involved in “local” issues when it concerns them and their image!
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8243270.stm

      The American fast-food giant McDonald’s has lost an eight-year legal battle to prevent a Malaysian restaurant calling itself McCurry.
      McDonald’s argued that the use of the “Mc” prefix infringed its trademark.
      But the Federal Court in Kuala Lumpur ruled that there was no evidence to show McCurry was trying to pass itself off as part of the McDonald’s empire.
      The owner of McCurry insists its “Mc” prefix is an abbreviation for Malaysian Chicken Curry.
      Long process
      McDonald’s has more than 180 outlets in Malaysia
      A High Court ruled in favour of the international chain in 2006, but then McCurry took the case to the Court of Appeal, which overturned the ruling.
      McDonald’s then went down its final legal avenue, taking the case to the Federal Court.
      But chief judge Arifin Zakaria said on Tuesday that the three-member panel had unanimously dismissed the application.
      “We feel great that this eight-year legal battle is finally over,” McCurry owner P Suppiah told reporters.
      “We can now go ahead with whatever we plan to do such as opening new branches,” he said.
      McCurry opened for business in Kuala Lumpur in 1999, and serves Indian dishes, including fish head curry and breads including tandoori naan.
      Lawyers for McDonald’s told the Associated Press news agency that the company accepted the judgement.

    6. Ioannis Says:

      We got ‘em!
      Just for the record, Debito, on James-san’s blog Sept 6 2009 there’s a picture where he supposedly wrote his name on the sand.The text below it states 「カマクラのビーチでジェームスのナマエかいて“ジェームスビーチ“にしたフォトです!」
      Obviously the McD’s representative was careless enough to tell us that ‘James’ is indeed his first name.But now we got a confirmation from the man himself.
      Shame on the guy who just a while ago assembled genealogical records from the internet just to ‘prove’ that James can be a family name as well.It was cruel to violate somebody’s private moments of happiness for an unnecessary argument.I also think he really owes you an apology as the clear intention of his attack was to vilify and undermine you.

    7. D.B. Cooper Says:

      How many strikes should a corporation be allowed before we, the public, revoke their charter?

      https://www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbusters-blog/mccarriage-justice.html

      “Fast food giant McDonald’s has just been handed a stunning defeat by a Malaysian high court in an epic trademark dispute. The ruling ended an eight-year battle in which the megacorporation attempted to prevent a small curry restaurant from using the prefix “Mc” in its name. McCurry (which stands for “Malaysian Chicken Curry”) argued that it had every right to use the two consonants and that McDonald’s claim that the two restaurants could be confused was unfounded. McCurry offers an Indian menu (including, among other things, fish head curry) while McDonald’s sticks to arguably less palatable “Western” fare. In addition to granting McCurry the rights to the disputed prefix, the court ordered McDonald’s to pay all legal costs incurred by the defendant. McDonald’s has a history of attacking anyone who dares string the two letters together: the company has previously brought legal action against a curry restaurant in Jamaica and the Oxford English Dictionary for listing the definition of “McJob.” Hopefully having its McAss handed to it by Malaysia’s highest court will end the corporation’s global monopoly on the two letters, allowing small business owners and a good part of Scotland to breathe easy…”

    8. debito Says:

      Mr James: “We love dog!”
      FORWARDING:
      Debito,

      The Mr. James issue seems to have quieted down, but the campaign is
      still going strong.
      In his newer postings he has been using a bit more kanji and a little
      less katakana, which is a slight improvement.
      Just noticed today’s posting:
      http://mcdonalds.dtmp.jp/blog/2009/09/090929.html

      The title is: “We love dog!”
      Of course this is ungrammatical, and for someone from Ohio USA would
      never say this. (And I will ignore the fullwidth exclamation mark.)
      I think we all know that the blog is really being written by a
      Japanese writer, and this posting betrays that fact.
      I left a comment (still pending) about the grammatical error.
      Depending on how it is accepted, I imagine that the title may be fixed.

      Anyway, FYI

    9. Andrew Smallacombe Says:

      I recently had lessons in a primary school and had to put up with smart-alec kids calling out ツ~キ~ミ~ as they walked past.
      Somebody in the McDonalds Japan corporation just earned themselves a death warrant.

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