It is a familiar story: toddlers and even older kids nagging the parents for a Happy Meal that contains the all important toy, and also, more significantly high levels of fat, sodium and sugar.
As a marketing gambit, the free toy that has kids flocking to McDonald’s restaurants in their droves, may be sheer genius. In terms of the impact on children and their health, it is disastrous.
A consumer group is now threatening to sue fast-food giant McDonalds alleging that offering the toys as part of their meal is unfair and deceptive for children.
Classifying children as innocent and as the corporate interests as predatory in this instance, the conscious effort to subconsciously influence children is what is reprehensible, says the consumer group.
With clever marketing, not only of McDonald’s Happy Meals, but also sugar laden cereals, and other unhealthy foods by making use of cartoon characters to entice children can make things really difficult for parents too.
Parents are well aware that unhealthy foods should be avoided, but it is difficult to resist constant pleading for a McDonald’s meal or waging a constant battle while walking down the supermarket aisle, as their child nags them for particular brands associated with their favorite characters.