McDonalds Blocks Special Olympics Charity Over Name Dispute

McDonalds says they've offered up alternatives

By Andrew Greiner
|  Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010  |  Updated 10:15 AM CDT
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The McDonalds Corporation finds itself in a PR pickle this week as news that they’ve filed a legal challenge against a teen girl’s charity hit wires.

Highly protective of its brand, Mickey Ds takes umbrage with 19-year-old Lauren McClusky’s Special Olympics charity drive because it uses a name that infringes on their copyrights, the Sun-Times reports. 

McClusky’s “McFest” is an annual concert series at The Metro, which has raised $30,000 in proceeds for the games.

"It helps so many Special Olympic kids in Chicago. Why take away my name, my funds and my event?" she asked in an e-mail to the paper from her studies abroad. "It matters not just to me, but more importantly, the Special Olympic kids who get so much from it.''

McDonald’s says its just business, and that they’re trying to work out a solution before the case goes to court and fees skyrocket for McClusky.

"We have made several attempts to resolve this matter amicably, because we recognize this event is for charity fund-raising," McDonald’s spokeswoman Ashlee Yingling said in a statement. "We have offered to help the event organizers cover costs in selecting a new name for their event; we have suggested other variations of this word that they could use."

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