retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) yesterday “filed a class action lawsuit against McDonald's Corp., aimed at stopping McDonald's use of toys to market directly to children,” according to Advertising Age.

CSPI threatened the suit earlier this year, saying in a letter to the fast feeder that McDonald's "unfairly and deceptively markets directly to children. When McDonald's bombards children with advertisements or other marketing for Happy Meals with toys, many children will pester their parents to take them to McDonald's. Once there, they are more than likely to receive a meal that is too high in calories, saturated fat, added sugars, and sodium, and devoid of whole grains."

In the meantime, the city of San Francisco implemented a local rule preventing fast feeders from giving away toys with kids’ meals that do not meet certain nutritional criteria, a move that seemed aimed directly at McDonald’s.

McDonald’s has promised to defend itself aggressively against the charges.
KC's View:
Readers know I am no fan of McDonald’s ... but as a parent, I like to think that I have the strength of character to decide whether or not my kids will eat there, and not allow toys and Happy Meals to dictate the decision. Our rule was always that if the kids whined about getting something, the answer was automatically “no.”

That stops the whining. And minimizes the impact of advertising. No legislation required.