Hmm, I had a McVeggie the other day and it was SO delicious, yum!!!McDonald's sues food critic in land of slow food
2003-05-30 20:14:39 GMT (Reuters)
By Christian Plumb
MILAN, May 30 (Reuters) - McDonald's has sued one of Italy's top food critics for raking its restaurants over the coals, but the critic says he has no intention of going back on saying its burgers taste of rubber and its fries of cardboard.
With the court case ongoing, McDonald's of Italy said on Friday the critic's comments were "clearly defamatory and offensive to McDonald's and to the more than 600,000 Italians who each day freely choose to eat in a McDonald's restaurant".
Critic Edoardo Raspelli, one of the top food personalities in a country that is home to a popular "slow food" movement, said he had received hundreds of emails supporting him against the fast-food giant.
"To me this looks like the usual, very American effort to destroy criticism and destroy people," Raspelli said. "I didn't defame anybody, not even their French fries."
McDonald's, which has 300 restaurants in Italy, said in a statement it hoped the judge would find in its favour and "award fair damages", without specifying a figure.
But a spokesman for McDonald's Europe said on Friday the company was hoping for a settlement out of court.
"We trust this matter can be resolved out of court and in an amicable way," spokesman Mike Love told Reuters in Chicago.
Raspelli said the chain was seeking 21 million euros ($24.86 million), the equivalent of what it spent on advertising in Italy in 2002.
At issue are Raspelli's comments in an interview with an Italian newspaper group in December, part of broader coverage of what was ailing the world's largest restaurant company, which last year posted its first-ever yearly loss.
Raspelli, who writes a regular column for newspaper La Stampa, oversees one of the country's top restaurant guides and appears weekly on television, said he had no intention of apologising.
"Nothing I said was offensive and so there's no need to apologise," he said. "Right now, McDonald's should be thinking of ways to get back the public's sympathy, not have it out with me."
Raspelli's lawyer Catherina Malavenda said that in a hearing on Tuesday the judge in the case had asked the fast-food chain and the food critic to look for ways to bury the hatchet.