01 August 1997

The fast food fryer has just launched a campus promotion offering students a 'privilege' card that entitles them to extra hamburgers free with their meals in McDonald's caffs across the UK. In what must be the sell-out of the century, the campaign is abetted by the National Union of Students, which is distributing the cards on behalf of the burger chain. The plan is that all students receive their cards, valid only when a NUS membership card is produced, in time for the academic term just starting. Displaying the market-sensitivity of a bull rhinoceros in the mating season, McDonald's now faces the possibility of a ferocious student backlash, its popularity in liberal and ecological circles rating marginally below that of Slobodan Milosevic. McDonald's rejoinder? 'We don't get involved in the politics of this. We're selling food.'