I am a citizen of a Member State of the European Union. Back in 2011, I played to the McDonald’s Monopoly game in my country and wasn’t able to complete a single property set despite having collected an impressive number of stickers.
I later realized that the game was rigged and that there were no indications whatsoever about it, therefore violating the EU directive 2005/29/CE and making it, due to the extend of the advertising surrounding the promotion, a fraud.
It’s important to understand that in many European countries where the McDonald’s Monopoly promotion took place, there were no indications the game was rigged, that some stickers were rare. Nothing! Nothing at all! Even within the full official rules!
The advertising materials were even more agressive than the ones in the United States. Some of the advertising materials were even stating clearly and very explicitly that there were an equal proportion of each property!
In June 2012, I sent a first cease-and-desist letter to McDonald’s requesting the prizes I should have won had the game not been rigged, claim which I believe might be made in the United States. I also strongly insisted that they cease their fraud immediately.
I received an answer from McDonald’s simply stating that there weren’t any wrongdoings.
In October 2012, McDonald’s reiterated their fraud. A few months later, in May 2013, I sent a 2nd cease-and-desist letter warning them about potential criminal pursuits if they didn’t cease their fraud immediately. I also sent a letter to three executives at the U.S. headquarters to warn them that the game was illegal in Europe.
This time, no one answered. But a few months later, the game was cancelled. The game was not only cancelled in 2013 but also in 2014.
But in October 2015, McDonald’s started to scam people again. I wrote to some McDonald’s executives at the highest level. Gloria Santona, executive vice-president and general counsel at McDonald’s headquarters, answered me and told me the issue was taken seriously. Her email was CCed to McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook.
You can see the emails on this website : Steve-Easterbrook.com.
Shortly after, Malcolm Hicks, vice-president and general counsel of McDonald’s Europe, wrote me an email claiming that he was going to request a second opinion from a law firm that wasn’t involved in the initial “game”.
I was indeed claiming that had a law firm mistakenly approved the rules, while their promotion was in fact violating the European directive 2005/29/CE, they would never admit any wrongdoings since it would have meant disbarement for the concerned lawyer(s).
I strongly suspect that they (McDonald’s executives) already knew the game was illegal. Why having cancelled the game in some countries in 2013 and/or 2014? Can McDonald’s Europe and the corporate headquarters in the United States truly pretend they didn’t know? Of course not. Even the mother company, McDonald’s USA knew since 2013 for sure and most likely since 2012.
Mr. Hicks told me he would get back in touch with me after getting this 2nd opinion but he never did. He suddenly became silent on the matter as did everyone else. I believe that this newly appointed law firm, which I suspect today to be Allen & Overy, warned McDonald’s executives that I was right.
A few days later, because of the lack of response from McDonald’s executives, I started mediatizing the case through the internet creating websites to warn consumers in different countries. I’ve received dozens of testimonies from victims from different backgrounds, many of them wanting to press charges against McDonald’s once they realized the game was rigged.
In 2016, in my country, and for the first time in almost 30 years since the first edition ever took place in the United States, the McDonald’s Monopoly game didn’t include the “Collect the properties to win” concept. Yes, you read correctly! They named the game “Monopoly” but it didn’t have properties which the consumers were supposed to collect. They kept the name but changed the concept.
Unfortunately, they replaced it with a new concept which is maybe even more fraudulent than the original one.
A civil lawsuit has started in Europe. We believe it’s only a matter of time before the authorities launch a criminal investigation into McDonald’s illegal practices.
You can find more information on the website Steve-Easterbrook.com.
If you want to send us your testimony or if you have any questions, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer you as soon as possible.