McDonald's (and Offers no longer banned on OzBargain

Update July 2012
McDonald's deals are no longer banned.

Original Post

Any posting to McDonald's and offer links to are now banned on OzBargain.

I received an email from McDonald's Australia's Vice President this morning that OzBargain "is currently displaying McDonald's register trademarks without permission". All previous McDonald's offers are requested to be removed from OzBargain. While OzBargain is a user-generated content website, all uploads by members still comprise a breach. Therefore I do not wish to risk any future issues, I am now banning McDonald's from OzBargain completely.

McDonald's did mention that "in the future they may wish to utilise OzBargain themselves for the benefit of its members" so I guess they may officially post offers here (but unfortunately no one else can).

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  • I hope they were polite in their email. Also, i don't think they should be able to post deals here themselves.

    • I have to say that they are polite in their emails.

      I guess it's a bit different working with big multinational companies who would spend zillion dollars on TV and news paper compaigns — they work hard to protect their trademark and how their trademark is presented on public sites such as OzBargain.

      Well. I guess the end result is — less Maccas for our members. Now it's up to you guys to decide whether it is a good thing :)

  • Hi Scotty

    so … are they saying it's okay for the general public to publish future deals here; just that we cannot use the logo on this website and they will let us know if they want a deal unpublished? :)

    If they are being polite and all; maybe they will be happy to clarify and/or say it's okay.


  • It may also be due to the validity of the actual McD deal posted. I personally think that the deal isn't valid, even though some of them accepted the voucher (probably out of ignorance or/and maybe due to low awareness).

    I personally do not condone any dubious deals, unless they can be verified for validity.

    • Seems like McD aren't expecting such a huge response from their freebies voucher and it is their mistake not to communicate it clearly to their stores across Australia. The voucher is still being distributed via emails anyway.

      Hey, at least Ozbargain is now recognized by McD! I doubt the Vice President isn't being cheeky snooping at other bargains in this website himself. :)

      • +1 vote

        I'd say that this is also a fault from the marketing team for not properly stating the terms and conditions (eg. no copies allowed), hence the copies floating around. I'd say, the approach taken by McD to 'protect' their branding is more of a 'soft approach' to stop this particular deal :)

        • although you have to question why they wanted all the past deals removed from the site - many of these had expired anyway and not all had the logo. If it was just those that offended this criteria then request those only.

          Even though polite we do have the perception that they can play hardball legally, so when elephants dance ants get squashed. Better to move on. And why try to accommodate when they show no desire to want to play.

          • @ozpete: With regard to removing old posts, the argument is usually "to avoid confusion with their customers".

            It's not without merit. Although "EXPIRED" and "OLD DEAL" has been explicitly spelt out, I sometimes got emails through contact form, from people asking why the coupon code someone posted 2 years ago did not work…

  • That's a good thing. I'll be keeping my eyes open for Hungry Jacks then. :)

    • Didn't we ban deals for them as well?

      • wasn't it that "free burger deal"?? the one where apparently they didn't put an expiry day on it. hmm i can understand why that was banned anyway.

      • Yes the Hungry Jack fiasco was started with this "fake" voucher" according to their "National Marketing Coordinator" (back in March this year).

        Basically Competitive Food Australia is not happy that OzBargain posted their promotions, and she claimed

        We don’t ever vouchers on line or via emails (for this very reason)… Please remove and do not allow another Hungry Jacks voucher onto your website.

        (I have to say that the McDonald's representative is much more polite on email though).

        Edit: I have just re-read her email again and it only says Hungry Jack's, rather than whole of Competitive Food Australia's (KFC, Domino's, etc). So feel free to post them (for now).

  • Macca's while polite have overreacted. A simple - don't post any deal with a copy of a voucher would have sufficed. That is understandable, but when it refers to their own website or some other deal on an "approved" website then surely they would want the free publicity.

    And why did the voucher get published??? Because some one at Macca's didn't have the T&C's on the voucher that most time is there - originals only no copies allowed (unless the poster did the wrong thing and erased it), Unless it was the latter, sorta shooting the messenger.

    But then again I am sure the little guy's like Oporto and the others would love to see Macca's limit their exposure, so they can get a look in.

    Personally I will only be upset if I miss out on a discount on their 30c ice-cream. The rest of their products don't appeal anymore.

    • I can't help but agree entirely. I remember when someone posted the mini menu deals (small frozen coke for $1) etc, are they now banned?

    • And many stores charge 50 cents for the soft serve ice cream cone so the same price as Hungry Jacks.

  • That answer my question. I did saw a Maacca's deal a few days ago on ozbargain and I can't find it now. What a blessing for me… have not been to Macca for more than a decade now and I am glad the record still stand.

  • I guess websites like ozbargain defeat the targeted marking campaigns large companies use to help boost sales at specific stores / regions where competition is a little tougher. Adding too many t&c's turns customers off, but at the end of the day the big boys need to take the good with the bad imho.

    McDonalds specifically takes advantage of their geographical locations by charging more for "same for same" items at select stores - as soon as the internet turns their 1980's marketing initiatives up side down, McDonalds scream and complain and demand to block websites such as this from taking advantage of the opportunities they themselves create.

    Up Yours McDonalds !

    Welcome to McDonalds Hindley Street, Adelaide City

  • Thanks for looking after my health scotty :) remove these deals and i may live longer

  • So Scotty why can't we post the word Macca's and not have any of their trademarks on the site? Deals without vouchers should not be a problem and those with vouchers can be stored on one of the many free hosting sites and simply a link to that from here.

    • why can't we post the word Macca's and not have any of their trademarks on the site?

      Because McDonald's says so? They first approached me asking to take down all the McDonald's bargains, and then asked me to block all future offers unless it is from their official rep.

      • I don't get it. If we don't mention any specific trademarkable items, don't mention specific brand names, then no-one is breaking the law. It sounds like them stopping you or I from taking a photo of one of their stores from the outside, while standing on non-McDonalds land (which is perfectly legal).

        Are we/ozbargains breaking any law if we list a post that mentions a vaguely worded offer of theirs but does not mention any trademarked item names?

        But the more I think of it, the better off we are ignoring them completely and I'm quite happy to ban any mention of them here at ozbargains.

        There, that was easy !!

        • Wrong or right, McDonald is a multi-national corporation with a huge legal team. Australian laws referring to what is written online is murky at best. Look at what happened to Zgeek, even though they prevailed in a suit filed by an individual, the cost of lawyers to defend the site is staggering. Best to err on the side of caution.

          • @neil: I agree that caution is the way to go, but I don't like it !!

            But ozbargain can't afford to have to go get them some lawyers, it's just not worth it.

            I'll go and have my medication and calm down now.

            • @shmahoo: Also it is not just about whether it is breaking the law or not. I usually honour merchants' request to take down or block their own offers, even though posting on OzBargain might seem to be completely "legal". Sometimes it is just their "exclusive offers" got leaked onto OzBargain and the small online shop is running around mad trying to fix their problems.

              After all it is their offers, and I believe they have the right to request it not to be featured on OzBargain. It's their loss for missing out an army of bargain hunters testing out their products, and I've previously tried to help them to see "the light". After a while I just gave up. Don't want your offers to appear on OzBargain? Fine. I'll make sure they don't.

            • @shmahoo: And them lawyers dont even offer a discount…..

  • You guys need an automatic filter that replaces trademarked terms with "expletive deleted."

    They really do suck.

    This sort of control prevents proper awareness of their heinous practices.

    • Coudn't agree more, especially 'those' practices targeted at the young very young and naive.

  • ??? >> "McDonald’s did mention that “in the future they may wish to utilise OzBargain themselves for the benefit of its members” so I guess they may officially post offers here (but unfortunately no one else can)."

    If they want to be so hard nosed then why can't they just go to hell and rot there.
    A bit too pushy for my liking. They are saying "it is their way or the highway"?
    100% ban.. problem solved.

    I'm sure Hungry Jacks would not be so rude?

    • Heh, well HJ's were not as polite. Ask Scotty ;)

    • Well. You know. Big corporate. They want the cake and eat it too. I don't think that they are interested in posting official offers on OzBargain though — I suspect the kind of people they target are probably not the OzBargain audiences.

  • So, are there any other places where we can find McDonald’s deals?

  • I know alot of people who stopped going to Macdonalds after the whole decide to buy Potatoes from New Zealand instead of our good farmers in Tasmania..

    They lost alot of respect over that just to save 1 cent per large fries or something..

    I am more of a KFC guy now.. You always walk out happy from the flavour..!!!

  • Maccas are particularly aggressive when it comes to bullying smaller guys over their trademarks. I remember they took legal action against these guys:

    And these guys:

    I've heard it said that companies risk losing their trademark rights if they don't aggressively pursue potential infringement, but you have to wonder at what point it crosses the line and becomes more a matter of lawyers justifying their existence.

    • Anishas (the second one) was up on the central coast just near avoca. Their sign was maccas red, yellow Arch, and the - in the A was tiny… was very suss.

    • I think it's, if you don't protect your trademarks, then others can later use an argument of trademark dilution, being that, your trademark no longer distinguishes and represents your business alone.

  • For sure dont let McDonalds have an official rep. Fair enough they dont want their deals here. But if they dont want there deals here, they shouldnt be allowed to post them on their terms. Period.

    • I thought they don't post here?

      • Im refering to this

        "McDonald's did mention that "in the future they may wish to utilise OzBargain themselves for the benefit of its members" so I guess they may officially post offers here (but unfortunately no one else can)."

        Look at Scottys original post

        • That's what they say.

          However if they can't recognise the community part of OzBargain, allowing everyone to share their offers, I can't see why we would let them to use OzBargain just as their PR machine.

  • I just posted a Newspaper deal where you need to purchase a newspaper to get a free item in maccas?,
    would that be deemed OK?
    didn't know about any other history till someone commented on the deal, don't want to get banned
    Delete the post if it's deemed infringing please, apologies in advance

    • Posted deleted, due to discussions above. And is it The Telegraph or Maccas deal? I am not prepared to "legally" find out.

      Given that many businesses are paying big bucks to get onto social networking sites, it does appear crazy, but why should we be a test case to assist a large corporation that might or might not see that there is actual benefit to them.

      Anyway, on the positive side, it will probably help us keep our members around for longer, that is if we can be here in 50 years time to see the result of the healthier diet… LOL

      As for "banning" we arent really ogres here, what appears to some to be heavy handed actions about people breaking rules, doesnt take into account that we do look at someone's history.


    • Thanks for giving us the heads up and checking with us, bleugh :)

  • Mc-turd Burgulars!

  • YAY!!!!how to see more maccas deals

  • I've updated the wiki to reflect that mcdonalds is allowed.

    It's been nearly a year and the welcome message to newcomer's hasn't been updated since July 2011 nearly 2 years? Who see's that document

    I looked further and it's not official. Perhaps it should be deleted or something prominent put up?