Those fun-loving folks at The Center For Science In The Public Interest are up to their old tricks again. This time they're taking aim at McDonald's, threatening to sue the fast food franchise unless it stops using toys to market it's Happy Meals to children.
Stephen Gardner, the director of litigation at CPSI, said, "This is an instance where this corporation (McDonald's) has decided to go around the parents and market straight to the kids."
Gardner is right in that regard. But what he fails to understand is THAT'S SMART ADVERTISING! You identify your target audience and then advertise in such a way that will expose that audience to your product. As long as you're selling a legal product, there is no problem. However, there's another flaw in his argument. Most kids who would be interested in a toy that's included with a Happy Meal aren't old enough to be going to McDonald's on their own. The parents ultimately make the decision whether or not to take their kids there.
Gardner also said McDonald's is "deliberately trying to supplant parental authority and parental responsibility by turning these kids into little screaming viral marketers sitting in the backseat demanding to go to McDonald’s to get some cheap piece of plastic." I had to laugh out loud when I read that, because "supplanting parental authority and parental responsibility" is exactly what the CSPI is doing by trying to take away the right of a parent to decide what's best for their children.
And it's not as if McDonald's doesn't offer healthy alternatives for parents to choose from. You can substitute apple slices for french fries and milk for soda. McDonald's has bent over backwards in that regard to appease the food police.
I hope McDonald's fights this every step of the way and puts these busy bodies in their place.