"If you have $1 to spend on marketing, spend it on kids." – Ray Kroc, founder, McDonald’s.
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. And 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 visit http://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 of HappyMeal.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.
Thanks for taking action!
P.S. If you haven't watched Anna Lappe's great new video about junk food marketing to kids yet, please check it out at http://foodmyths.org/.
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