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Woman Surprised By Influence Of Advertising

12/16/2010

 

"Mommy, buy me the Happy Meal...or else!"

A Sacramento, CA mother and The Center for Science in the Public Interest have sued McDonald’s Corp. trying to get the fast-food chain to stop using toys to market meals to young children. The suit says this type of advertising that targets young kids is deceptive.

 

This comes on top of an effort in some cities to ban the toys from Happy Meals. Last month I introduced the City of San Francisco’s bizarre ban in my post  “UnHappy Meals Are Toyless In SF”.

Attempting another blow to McDonald’s Corp. mom Monet Parham said she is upset that her children request McDonald’s food after seeing the company’s ads. “That really concerns me, that McDonald’s has that kind of influence,” Parham said.

Wait a second, Ms. Parham…the whole purpose of advertising to persuade an audience to purchase or take some action upon products or services.

So let’s peel this back a bit. The lawsuit says McDonald’s advertising of Happy Meals is deceptive.

Deception in Blue

 

Hmmm. It’s always been pretty clear to me what a Happy Meal is about. Branding, packaging and incentives around products the company sells. So does that make the Tiffany Company blue box deceptive? Of course not…but it’s simple to see how easily this thinking could impact all marketing.

I’m no Dr. Phil but I’d suggest to Ms. Parham to consider using a powerful tactic I used as a parent in a variety of situations. I said, “No!”. But then it’s not likely Ms. Parham has that kind of influence on her children.

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