McDonald's hopes to lure back Japanese consumers with free burgers

January 14, 2004,, Michael Fitzpatrick: McDonald’s is hoping the lure of free meat will quell contamination fears. Panicking over yet another BSE crisis, this time in the wake of the mad cow discovery in the US in December, McDonald's Co. Japan said it would be giving away ten million hamburgers to customers this Sunday.

Code-named ‘Mac Hamburger Day,’ the Japanese franchise said it will hand out coupons for its burgers with customer purchase.

For years the company has trumpeted that its beef comes from non-tainted Australian supplies only and not American or domestic beef that was hit by Japan’s own BSE outbreak two years ago. However, sales have decreased dramatically at the outset of each outbreak.