McDonald's defends end of Disney tie-up on Happy meals

10 May 2006
McDonald's defends end of Disney tie-up on Happy meals

McDonald's has been forced to defend the dissolving of its 10-year exclusive billion-dollar deal with Walt Disney once again, despite first announcing its termination last summer.

The last McDonald's Happy Meal promotions under the deal will be for the sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean and the Pixar film Cars.

McDonald's has reacted strongly to suggestions over the past 24 hours that Disney is acting due to concerns over obesity in children.

The fast-food giant said that the decision was mutual and points out that the relationship ended last year so that McDonald's could have more flexibility in its entertainment relationships.

Last July McDonald's had signed a deal with rival studio Dreamworks and the first promotion based on its agreement will be for Shrek 3 in May 2007.

Dreamworks has since been bought by Viacom/Paramount.

Disney said: "We have had a very positive relationship with McDonald's for the past 10 years… we look forward to a more flexible, non-exclusive relationship, where we will be marketing with them on a case-by-case basis."

It's been reported that the deal involved McDonald's has been conducting 11 promotions a year for Disney films, videos and television shows.

Some of these would only have been carried out in the USA. Disney agreed to have McDonald's restaurants in its theme parks.

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By Branwell Johnson

This article originally appeared on, the website which delivers business insight to professionals in marketing, media, new media, advertising and design.To subscribe to and receive full access to their database of articles on these industries, click here.


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