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The Chicago Tribune reports that McDonald’s plans to release new ad campaign that will feature a message about either nutrition or the importance of exercise in every ad.

According to the story, the campaign “supports the chain's revamped Happy Meal, now available at its 14,000 U.S. restaurants, with a burger or chicken nuggets, apple slices, fries and 1 percent white or fat-free chocolate milk.

“The 1.1-ounce portion of french fries is new. McDonald's introduced apple dippers with caramel sauce as a fry alternative in 2004, later learning that only 11 percent of customers were ordering it. The new meal has effectively made a fruit or vegetable mandatory. The most popular Happy Meals now contain 20 percent fewer calories, McDonald's has said.”
KC's View:
Readers of MNB know that I am no fan of McDonald’s.

But I must say that I amused by some of the critics of the new ad campaign, who seem to be saying that it is not a good idea because by stressing a health and nutrition message, McDonald’s should not be sending any messages to kids under 12, and that the subject doesn’t really matter. One critic says that McDonald’s is just “exploiting children's emotional vulnerability through cartoons and animals,” and that the subject doesn’t really matter.

Well, I don’t know about that.

It does sort of seem like McDonald’s cannot win.

If I had little kids, I’d avoid McDonald’s as much as possible on principle. But it would be nice to know that at those times when I needed a convenient fast food alternative, its Happy Meals are not quite as bad as they used to be, and that the ads may have had the healthier foods a little bit more palatable to kids.

It is just hard for me to get too upset about McDonald’s stance on this. They’re shifting with the tides, and that’s supposed to be a good thing.