Yes, it has come to this. A D. C. watchdog group will sue McDonald’s if the fast-food chain continues to use toys to promote Happy Meals. The Center for Science in the Public Interest says using toys to lure small children into McDonald’s is “unfair and deceptive marketing” and is “illegal under various state consumer protection laws.”CSPI today said in a press release that they served McDonald’s a “notice of its intent to sue, fulfilling a legal requirement of several states in which CSPI might bring the lawsuit.””McDonald’s is the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children,” said CSPI litigation director Stephen Gardner in the release, who said McDonald’s “undercuts parental authority and exploits young children’s developmental immaturity-all this to induce children to prefer foods that may harm their health. It’s a creepy and predatory practice that warrants an injunction.”
CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson called the practice of Happy Meal toys “inherently deceptive” saying that “Parents do bear much of the responsibility, but multi-billion-dollar corporations make parents’ job nearly impossible by giving away toys and bombarding kids with slick advertising.”
Certainly, there are valid concerns about kids eating too many French Fries and soda drinks. But public concerns over these issues need to be between parents, watchdog groups and companies, and should not involve the courts.
Good earth. Are bans or lawsuits concerning candy and ice cream next?