"Today's Los Angeles Times story involving the McDonald's / Disney allianceis based on Hollywood heresay from unnamed sources, and the entire premise is a misrepresentation of the truth," wrote Jack Daly, senior vice president of corporate relations for McDonald's, in a release sent out to trade media this afternoon
"In fact," the release continued, "the decision to end the McDonald's / Disney strategic alliance was mutual. For our part, McDonald's did not exercise our option to renew the agreement in 2004 based on our desire to have more flexibility and options in our entertainment relationships. This decision enabled a 2-year DreamWorks agreement, which was widely reported in July of 2005.
"As the Los Angeles Times accurately reported on July 28, 2005: 'The fast-food giant disclosed Wednesday that it would end its exclusive, decade-long promotional partnership with Walt Disney Company when it teams with rival DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. starting in May 2007.'
"Moreover, McDonald's still has promotional tie-ins in place with two of Disney's hottest properties--"Cars" and "Pirates of the Caribbean"--and we will continue to explore additional Disney opportunities in the future.
"McDonald's decision to not renew the exclusive alliance with Disney also allows us to work with other studios and we have a number of relationship discussions underway," Daly wrote.
"The bottom line here is that the premise of today's report is wrong."
Daly's statement concluded: "The 10-year McDonald's / Disney alliance is ending for sound business reasons on both sides. This was a mutual decision made more than a year ago--a fact that is well known in the business world."