Industry News | November 26, 2001

McDonald's Launches Service-Minded Gift Certificate Program

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This holiday season, McDonald's says it will help customers turn gift giving into college savings, thanks to the chain's new "Save-For College" campaign tied to Upromise, a new service connecting some of America's leading companies with families saving for college.

McDonald's is launching the campaign with a multi-pronged effort featuring a new gift certificate program and trayliner promotion.

The gift certificates have a new look, featuring Ronald McDonald, and present families with the opportunity to begin saving for their children's college education. Each time a customer purchases a $5 book of gift certificates, McDonald's will contribute 3 percent from the purchase price into the buyer's Upromise savings account. To receive the savings, customers must register with Upromise though the organization's website (www.upromise.com) and enter the code found on the inside back cover of the McDonald's gift certificate booklet. Enrolling is free. Consumers can purchase the new gift certificates at any one of McDonald's nearly 13,000 U.S. restaurant locations, or online at McDonald's website (www.mcdonalds.com). In addition, McDonald's will highlight the Upromise message on large red fry boxes, medium cups, take-out bags, and restaurant display materials.

"We're proud to partner with Upromise to help make higher education more affordable and accessible to American families everywhere," said Mike Roberts, president, McDonald's USA. "With more than twenty million customers visiting our restaurants everyday in the U.S., we're hoping to raise public awareness about this important opportunity to help families prepare financially for their children's college education."

To help families get started, McDonald's will contribute $5 when a customer opens a Upromise account and enters the special code found on McDonald's Upromise trayliners at participating McDonald's restaurants. This limited-time offer runs through January 31, 2002.

"We're honored to have McDonald's as a cornerstone partner," said Michael Bronner, chairman and founder of Upromise. "Contributions like these from McDonald's can inspire families to open a college savings account and take charge of this important issue. McDonald's enormous 'Save for College' campaign will help us to reach tens of millions of Americans."