McDonald's hires PR agency

to invite Fr. Ben Moraleda and Gary Granada

On the evening of October 17, I got a call from Ms. Bonjin Bolinao. She said McDonald's was sending a letter to Kaalagad, inviting us to a dialogue. She also asked me if it were possible to indicate in my website that McDonald's already sent a letter to Kaalagad (we received the letter the following day). I promised her that I will publish her letter in my website ( I believe the only way we may have an honest to goodness dialogue where public concern is concerned is for the public to know the facts. So I'm publishing and circulating this letter, as well as my reply to Bonjin, in fairness to everybody.

If you haven't yet, please read for a backgrounder

My Ordeal with the Arrogant Managers of McDonald's


16 October 2006



Fr. Ben Moraleda, Spokesperson

Mr. Gary Granada, Volunteer

Dear Fr. Moraleda and Mr. Granada:

On behalf McDonald’s Philippines, we would like to invite you to a dialogue with senior McDonald’s representatives on Thursday, October 26, at 9:30 AM at Top of the Citi restaurant, 34th floor, Citibank Center, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City.

McDonald’s would like to discuss with your group their efforts in addressing the various issues that you have raised. They would also like to formalize their commitment to your cause of reducing the use of harmful substances in the quick-service industry.

Thank you for your attention. Please confirm if you are available on the said date and time. Should you have further queries, please contact Mr. Stevie Martinez at 889-8332 loc. 131 or 0918-9258163.

Thank you.


HCN Bonjin Bolinao

Managing Director

DDB Phils.

Ad Verbum PR


And here is my reply to her letter (thru e-mail):

19 October 2006

Dear Bonjin,

I just read your letter dated 16 October, 2006. Thank you for the invitation. Because we are a consultative community, Kaalagad is currently consulting its members and staff as well as our partners in order to come up with an appropriate collective response.

Offhand, I would like to share with you my personal view. (Kaalagad is drafting its official position.)

I am of the opinion that your letter is insincere, insensitive and mercenary. It is insincere because you write as though October 6 never happened. No mention of the incident, no need for apology, no need to explain why McDonald's acted the way it did.

It is insensitive because you picked a venue which is one elevator ride from McDonald's's bosses' office, while we have to commute all the way to Makati from Quezon City. To add insult to injury, you picked the very same building where we were harassed by your security people and shabbily treated by your managers.

It is mercenary because I see PR written all over the page. It is not even signed by McDonald's but by an ad agency. We are not a 'market' that your college advertising textbooks may have taught you to regard. We are not a 'segment' of the market that you can simply 'sample', 'profile' and 'contain' if need be.

Don't treat us like we are a PR problem. I cannot take this veiled insult sitting down. So, to cut the crap, I will excuse myself from any possible dialogue with you or your client.

I have a very simple, doable and straightforward suggestion to you though. Why don't you and McDonald's use everything within your enormous financial and media clout to discredit what I am saying:


1. McDonald's is arrogant - don't make them more arrogant.

2. McDonald's uses styrofoam - don't encourage them further.

I urge you to publicly discredit those two statements. And I shall be very happy, even eager, to be discredited and proven wrong if you really mean what you say. Show proof in all your stores and offices that contrary to what I am saying, McDonald's is a humble giant that puts public welfare above profit. That way, we all win!

I will publicly broadcast those statements. I know it sounds laughable for I can't even afford to pay for one column-centimeter of news item. A little-known folksinger versus a transnational ad agency of a transnational megacorporation is a like playing chess blindfolded with one rook less. On the other hand, I believe there are lots and lots of people who simply seek goodwill and solidarity. And I suspect many of them are fond of spaghetti and brewed coffee.

This will be the last time I'll write to you regarding McDonald's, hell I don't get paid for writing letters like you do.

Lastly, please do not take this letter as a personal affront. Like you said over the phone, we have common friends. I hope we are on the same page then, for instance, in taking the illegitimate Arroyo government to task over the specter of state-sponsored summary executions and brazen political opportunism that has become the norm in this country.

Tell you what, I hang out at Conspiracy (Visayas Ave, Quezon City, across Shell, beside Equitable Bank, landline 4532170). My favorite singers Cooky Chua and Noel Cabangon (who by the way once did a commercial for McDonald's) perform there. Our mutual friend Conrado DeQuiros is a regular. You might want to check the place out. Please let me buy you a beer, no scripts, no agenda, but as real persons in a real way.


Gary Granada


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