Are you embarrassed that sometimes you take your children to McDonald’s? If you do, you should stop. Read below to find out why!
McDonald’s offers little in the way of nutrition and a lot in the way of calories. They also relentlessly target children with their marketing campaigns.
It has gone beyond the cheap toy in the Happy Meal to online games.
I still remember when the first Happy Meal came out. McDonald’s was near my childhood home, and we did eat quick meals there. I could walk or ride my bike, and I loved the freedom I had and the affordability to get my own food at this fast food place. The Happy Meal made it all the better. I wanted that cheap toy. I hated the food and would only eat the french fries, but I didn’t care as long as I got the toy. When McDonald’s would run contests, I was equally enamored ever hopeful I would win.
McDonald’s has long history of marketing to kids.
In fact, the founder of McDonald’s Ray Kroc said, “If you have $1 to spend on marketing, spend it on kids.”
Fortunately, we live in an area where fast food restaurants are forced to close their doors, as the community does not support them. My own children are immune to such marketing, as they only time they visited the golden arches was in toddlerhood with the grandparents; however, I am concerned about all of our children.
McDonald’s has taken it to a whole new level with HappyMeal.com, and the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood is asking that it be shut down!
For years, McDonald’s has been the worst-of-the-worst when it comes to marketing to kids. No other brand targets young children so relentlessly. The consequences are dire: junk food consumption is linked to a host of diet-related diseases, including Type 2 diabetes. And at time when parents and advocates for children are urging junk food marketers to stop targeting children, McDonald’s advertising assault on kids is escalating. Its website, HappyMeal.com, is a leading online destination for kids, featuring ads for the latest Happy Meal toys, photo opportunities with Ronald McDonald, and games – all designed to make children into devoted and lifelong McDonald’s customers.
All marketing to young children is deceptive, but it’s even more exploitative when advertisements masquerade as fun and games. That’s why CCFC is joining with Corporate Accountability International, and noted food activist Anna Lappe to demand that McDonald’s shut down HappyMeal.com. Please visithttp://org.salsalabs.com/o/621/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=14334 to add your name to our petition.
HappyMeal.com is even worse than McDonald’s insidious television ads because there’s no separation between content and advertising. Every aspect ofHappyMeal.com is designed to prolong children’s interaction with the McDonald’s brand, including games that feature the same types of product placement that is prohibited on children’s television. HappyMeal.com also creates incentives for kids to purchase McDonald’s junk food by tempting them with special access areas available only after entering codes from store purchases. And the site expands on McDonald’s incredibly gendered marketing, with games and “interviews” featuring violent media characters like Batman for boys and the highly-sexualized Monster High brand for girls.
Please make sure your children don’t visit this website and sign the petition! I have been somewhat cynical about online petitions lately, but a few seconds of my time can be spared to support this campaign.