12.17.2010

Evil Ronald McDonald?


Via Twitter this week, Burgh Baby drew my attention to this CNN blog article about a lawsuit filed with The Center for Science in the Public Interest, CSPI, against McDonald's for including toys in their Happy Meals.

A mother of two small children, Monet Parham, filed the suit because: "We have to say no to our kids so many times and McDonald's makes that so much harder to do. I object to the fact that McDonald's is getting into my kids' heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat."

The CSPI claims McDonald's marketing techniques are "unfair, deceptive and illegal" and that they cause "kids to pester their parents."

McDonald's response? "We stand on our 30-year track record of providing a fun experience for kids and families at McDonald's," said Bridget Coffing, a company spokesperson. "We listen to our customers, and parents consistently tell us they approve of our Happy Meals. We are confident that parents understand and appreciate that Happy Meals are a fun treat, with quality, right-sized food choices for their children that can fit into a balanced diet."

It's Feedback Friday!

Thoughts, comments, opinions about this particular McDonald's lawsuit?

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21 comments :

  1. I saw this on the tv and found it absolutely ridiculous. Does this mother have a spine? It's a prime example of the mentality of many people today: I'm not responsible for my bad choices, YOU are. Don't get me started.....
    Blessings to you and yours,
    Gail

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  2. The fabric store makes me pester my hubby for more money to spend on fabric. Shame on them. It's not my fault, it's theirs.

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  3. This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard! No one is making parents buy Happy Meals for their children. When raising children sometimes it is necessary to just say no, again, and again, and again...Sorry, getting off my soap box now.

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  4. I say give the kids a Happy Meal already. Everything in moderation is what we try to live by. Have you lived if you have never had a Happy Meal? We try to eat healthy and I don't buy a ton of junk, but as a SAHM of 3 living in the country with crazy weather, I have to say that I love the drive thru at times and I will take help wherever I can find it. :) Thanks for the post!

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  5. The toy is not the problem...it's the marketing. Spend an evening and actually notice how many products are geared towards kids--get the kid to want the mini van with headphones, a video player and the cool status and sure enough the parent will buy it. We're schmucks, if it didn't work then they would find a different advertising method. We rarely eat at McDonalds. But that doesn't mean that after watching 5 million McD's commercials on a Saturday morning, my boys aren't begging for the newest transformer/spiderman/piece of plastic landfill junk. Filing suit against the arches won't work, but at least it gets people talking---maybe the focus should be on how terrible their processed food is for our health?!? Try reading Fast Food Nation or one of the other plethora of food books out right now---we need to wake up and take a stand on what is ok for us to be putting into our bodies (not mindlessly put on the feedbag).

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  6. I couldn't agree with Gail (1st commenter) more! Ridiculous. I'll just leave it at that.

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  7. Silly, completely frivolous, and a waste of time. I don't need Big Brother to monitor my diet or the diets of my kids. I am perfectly capable of making wise choices. I don't think a Happy Meal every once in a while is the end of the world, especially if it's just an occasional treat.

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  8. My opinion has been commented on here, so I agree! BE RESPONSIBLE for you & yours! Good grief!! Maybe we shouldn't have any advertising at all!

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  9. I heard this yesterday on TV, we discussed it over dinner with our near grown son. He was the most vocal of all. His comments mirrored ours. "Doesn't she drive the car, have the money and know how to say NO?" Whose responsibility is it to raise her kids?

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  10. I also heard this and thought it was ridiculous. McDonald's makes it harder to say no?? Getting into kids heads without permission?? My little kid has never seen a McDonald's commercial because he doesn't watch T.V. He doesn't expect a toy with his happy meal because we take it out. (We give it to him later, but it isn't in association with the happy meal). He still loves Happy Meals and we enjoy giving it to him every once in while. For goodness sake, be PROACTIVE if you are so worried about your kids being influence. It's so much easier when they are younger.

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  11. We really limit tv to our kids because of the marketing mentioned by Shelly above. One episode of Deltora Quest and 5y/o is asking for a multitude of worthless junk. I am NOT for legislating common sense, but it seems like there ARE so many parents that would rather relinquish the use of their own brains so that they don't have to be the 'bad guy' in their own family.

    It is MY job to teach my kids that they'll get a "No" most times when they ask for fast food, let alone an entire Happy Meal. When we actually buy a meal, they're usually disappointed with the crappy toy AND the crappy burger. For us, personal experience is much better marketing and kids won't die if we say 'no' once in a while.

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  12. Parents are responsible for their kids. Period. If you don't want them "getting into your kids head" turn off the TV. I think one of the reasons I find this so ridiculous is that I have no problem telling my kids no. I actually think it is fun. And it is a good thing because we have a McDonalds on the corner of our street so they get to hear it almost every single day.

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  13. I think it is a huge joke. I think there are way too many unnecessary lawsuits and this one is one of craziest.

    I can only assume that McDonald's is 'getting into her kid's heads' by ads they see on tv and by signs they see on and in McDonald's. It doesn't take a genius to figure out if you don't want your kids influenced by the ads and posters, - don't let them see them! Limit TV and don't go to McDonald's!

    Let's be serious. Where will Monet stop? Is she going to sue her children's friends because they are showing her kids their McDonald's toys to her kids? Maybe sue their parents for taking their kids to McDonald's where they get the toys. How about the manufacture of the toys or the trucking companies that transport them?

    Where will it end?

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  14. Oh. MY. GOODNESS. This is out of control. Speaking of control... As a parent it's your job to direct your children's choices, not the job of advertisers. This says to me, shame on you McD's for doing a good advertising job... Give it up people!

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  15. Another CNN article in response to the one above. Basically - Parents should take responsibility for what they feed their kids.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/12/17/martin.happy.meals/index.html?hpt=C2

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  16. This woman needs a Valium and a hysterectomy. Telling your child "no" is part of your job as a responsible parent. Key word is responsible.

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  17. It's called parenting people!! It amazes me how people are so quick to point fingers and blame people for things. Suck it up, take control, be a teacher and set an example. Grrrr..........

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  18. You have a choice as a parent on what you expose your kids to. My son knows about McDonalds, he has had a couple of Happy Meals in his 6 years. But, he enjoys food because we have taught him how to enjoy healthy options. He would much rather have a Subway sandwich with milk or water than a Happy Meal. We also don't watch regular TV, cable, or satellite. He is allowed to watch Disney movies or educational DVD programs like The Magic School Bus. He can only watch them on the weekend and he earns his TV time. He usually would rather build massive cities with his blocks or draw and write about cities and cars. If you choose to expose your child to commercials or to McDonald's toys then you should deal with the consequences.

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  19. Many already touched on my thoughts on the subject. This is an absolutely ludicrous suit. McDonald's isn't responsible for your parenting. If your child had never had a Happy Meal, she wouldn't know about the toys.

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  20. (And it is possible to just purchase the toy and not the meal. It's $1 or something.)

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  21. I can't even comment on this without wanting to throw my laptop at the wall. We wonder why kids have a sense of entitlement, why when in my classroom, kids throw fits when I say no, or hold them accountable for THEIR grades. We (a large number of the USA) have become a society of obess citizens that are too lazy to A)cook and eat dinner as a family and B) say no!

    I never thought parenting was suppose to easy? It seems more and more people want the easy button.

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