McDonald's counters critics with bloggers

McDonald's is assembling an army of a million burger-friendly bloggers to tackle critics like Jamie Oliver, the campaigning chef.

A group of 400 bloggers, who are also fans of the fast-food chain, are reportedly given free gifts and all-expenses-paid parties in exchange for favourable blogs about the firm online. McDonald's hopes to roll out the initiative in the UK within a year.

Josh Ainsfeld, a McDonald's PR consultant, told a San Francisco marketing conference last week it is targeting ordinary people it can "teach" to become advocates on networking sites like Facebook.