Evidently there is a movement going on, supported by Corporate Accountability International, to force McDonald's to stop marketing their product to children. Hmm....I don't know about you, but I feel like the days of McDonald's advertising to children are long gone. I can't remember the last time I saw the faces of Grimace, Big Mac, Captain Crook, Hamburgler and all the adorable Fry Kids. The days of Playland are long gone, at least in all the McDonald's I have been into over the last 10 years, and most of the restaurants have been remodeled to attract a more modern, twenty-something, coffee-drinking crowd. In our house we only watch children's channels with no commercials, so my kids aren't even exposed to the chance kid-friendly MickyD's images that might pop up on a TV screen; do they even exist anymore??
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While my children have never tasted an "All-white-meat McNugget" or McBurger, I do not agree that anyone, especially our government, should be allowed to tell a private business how or to whom they can advertise. Some are concerned that these images and ideas are forcing our children to "beg" for McDonald's when many parents are trying to keep their kids healthy and away from such fast food places. What?? Isn't it the parents' job to say "No" if they feel that strongly about it? I find it hard to believe that a child would beg to go to McDonald's if they have never been there. Ask my girls what McDonald's sells and they will tell you apple slices and iced tea (and the occasional hash brown on our way home from church). They have never seen a happy meal, nor do they know that the cute red boxes house a toy (which would be tossed in a landfill a few days after they have forgotten about it). I cannot imagine them begging to get one even if peers talk about it. If my girls want chicken nuggets and french fries, we go to Chick-fil-A (whose nuggets are breast meat, not ground up--and their prize is a book) or I'll toss some Bell and Evans nuggets in the oven along with Zoey fries (sweet potato fries). They are happy either way. It is my personal choice to avoid McDonald's for my children, for but for some families on the go or those who have tight budgets, it's a lifesaver.
I do, however, think this group should focus its efforts not in the advertising but rather on getting fast food places to rethink the ingredients they add to their products. Why does chicken need to be mashed up with starch and other additives/artificial colorings then pressed into weird shapes to be called a chicken nugget...is that really food?
Let McDonald's advertise as they will. Commercials are a great way to talk to children about the realities of advertising while teaching them how to make their own judgements. I know in the end I have the final decision and hopefully one day my girls will make their own healthy choices for their lives.
What do you think of this movement?