MCDONALD'S IS TAKING IN-SCHOOL MARKETING TO A NEW LOW:
FROM THE CAMPAIGN FOR A COMMERCIAL-FREE CHILDHOOD:
Last week, students in Seminole County, Florida received their report cards in envelopes adorned with Ronald McDonald promising a free Happy meal to students in kindergarten through fifth grade with good grades, behavior or attendance. Targeting children directly with the message that doing well in school should be rewarded by a Happy meal undermines parents' efforts to encourage healthy eating. And if parents want to reward their kids' school performance, they are intelligent enough to determine what kind of reward, if any, is appropriate.
TELL McDONALDS' : STOP ADVERTISING ON REPORT CARDS:
The promotion highlights McDonald's duplicity when it comes to marketing to children. McDonald's has pledged to stop all advertising in elementary schools. When questioned about the report cards, a McDonald's spokesperson claimed the promotion isn't marketing. If that's what McDonald's believes, their pledge isn't worth the paper it is printed on.
McDonald's has also received kudos for its pledge to only advertise its healthier options to children under twelve. Yet the Happy meal promotion explicitly mentions cheeseburgers, French fries and soft drinks. Happy Meals featured on the report card can contain as many as 710 calories, 28 grams of fat or 35 grams of sugar.
On Wednesday, we were alerted to the promotion by an Orlando-area parent. Within 24 hours, our concerns about the report cards ignited a nation-wide controversy, including stories in the New York Times, the associated Press and a front page story in Orlando. Now we need your help to put an end to this outrageous advertising.
To join this campaign against McDonald's advertising to a captive audience of children see the website of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.