Thursday, December 16, 2010

Unhappy Meals

LA Times
A Sacramento mother and the Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a lawsuit Wednesday against McDonald's Corp., alleging that its practice of giving toys with children's meals is deceptive to children.

The organization had been threatening to sue McDonald's since last summer, claiming that the Happy Meals toys constitute a method of circumventing parental control and teach children unhealthy eating. The complaint, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, also accuses the company of false advertising.

The lawsuit alleges that "McDonald's exploits very young California children and harms their health by advertising unhealthy Happy Meals with toys directly to them" and that "children 8 years old and younger do not have the cognitive skills and the developmental maturity to understand the persuasive intent of marketing and advertising."

In a call with reporters, Monet Parham, a Sacramento mother of two, said she was bringing the case because of the constant requests for McDonald's Happy Meals.

That's lame. I haven't enjoyed a Happy Meal from McDonald's for a long time but I remember eating them as a kid growing up in Canada (I don't think there were McDonald's in Taiwan in the 70's). I think this kind of stuff should be left up to the parents.

It's interesting that they brought the lawsuit to a San Francisco suit even though the woman lives in Sacramento. The city of SF just banned Happy Meals; hopefully the courts are more sane than the kooky SF Board of Supervisors.

Second, the LA Time does a poor job of fact checking. "Sacramento mom" sounds awfully suspicious... let's see, what else is in Sacramento? Turns out the woman works for the California Department of Public Health as an advocate for Network for a Healthy California. That doesn't mean she can't file a lawsuit but now we can see the politics behind it.

No comments: