Marketers of a poster depicting Republican presidential nominee Ronald Reagan as "Ronald McDonald," the hamburger empire's advertising symbol, have agreed in an out-of-court settlement to stop sales.
Attorneys for the McDonald's fast-food chain charged in U.S. District Court in Alexandria that distribution of the posters constituted violation of the company's copyright protections. Last week they successfully sought a temporary injunction against continued marketing of the posters.
A permanent agreement to halt sales was reached this week between McDonald's and Punch Posters, which manufactured and had sold more than 2,000 of them around the country before the restraining order was issued. The posters show Reagan, dressed as the McDonald's clown, standing in front of the chain's familiar golden arches under a sign saying, "Ronald's over 69 years old." The poster's slogan reads, "Give Ronald a job he can handle."
The restraining order followed a month of legal warfare between the manufacturers of the "Big Mac" hamburger and Punch Posters, which markets other "pin ups" poking fun at politicians and prep schools. One of the poster firm's founders, Tom Shadyac, is the son of Richard Shadyac, a prominent supporter of President Carter.
McDonald's attorneys said the out-of-court agreement involved no financial penalty against the poster firm.