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Angry Liberals vs. Happy Meals

What they like you must like, what they despise so must you. Or else.

File this one under "Militant Liberals Snatch Candy From Laughing Babies' Mouths":
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a liberal consumer advocacy organization, has announced it will sue McDonald's unless the fast-food franchise stops using toys to market its "Happy Meals" to children.
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Mitch said...

Yeah maybe we shouldn't market some of the highest fat content food to children using toys. McDonalds actually builds their business model on making it and feel good experience for kids. Just as tobacco companies used to sell fake cigerettes for kids to play with so they would develop a favorite brand before they could even purchase real ones; McDonalds creates an envrioment that children associate with happiness and then when they are adults they now have a psychological link between happiness and McDonalds because thats where they got toys when they were little and thats where Mommy and Daddy took them to play in the ball pit! So now it is reflexive to go there when you are hungry and driving by (obviously most people have self control not to go everytime, but methods like this break down our natural self defenses). So my question is do you really want toys in kids meals, esp. toys that have been researched by psychologists so that they are the most effective at attracting kids attentiions and building brand loyalty in your 4 year old. Here at CMR you always talk about different schools who are doing things to educate children with the states values and you condemn these public schools for doing this, but when big business works to educate children to be consumeristic you give them a free pass because they are businesses and its unamerican or whatever to limit what they can do. How about some consistancy, lets be as hard on big business for manipulating our children as we are on big gov't. One thing is for sure neither big gov't nor big business cares about anything except their own growth and power.

Matt said...

Ya know, happy meals where around when I was a child. I'm 26 now. And I'm happy to report that I'm not some fat slob who can't stop himself from eating another big-mac.

How about we let parents be parents without everyone else telling them how to do it?

John Hetman said...

Mitch, that's a bunch of rubbish and utter psychobabble.

Lots of us grew up with toys and prizes in our cereal boxes including the opportunity to own square inches of land in the Yukon. I don't think that most adults crave any of these products because they once were happy to open the box and find a free toy or puzzle or sticker.

More garbage is foisted on mankind by psychological "studies" than in all the billions of garbage cans at MacDs and BoogerKings in the world. I am not a fan of fast food, but neither am I of fast and loose facts.

The same hold true for your analogy of candy cigarettes and actual ones. It's utter gibberish.

Ellyn said...

It's not exactly like kids are holding guns to their parents' heads and hijacking the family car to get to McDonald's.

Mitch said...

My only point is we should be equally bothered by big companies trying to mold the way our children think as we are when the gov't/school system does. Does every kid going through comprehensive sex ed have sex before they are married. No. Does every kid who is exposed to advertising and marketing of big business that are crafted by psychologists become a slave to the ideas in the marketing. No. But we should be appalled by both attempts to usurp parental control over what our children learn.

Anita said...

They can advertise all they want, but we as parents can screen our children from it. My kids (5 aged 8 and under) have never eaten at McDonalds, and do not even know what a happy meal is. We went into a Walmart with a McD's in it that had a statue of Ronald on a bench, and they just looked at it and said, "that's weird." I despise this whiny helpless attitude of parents. Don't buy it, don't let them watch it, and the great evil marketing execs have zero power over your kids.

Anonymous said...

There's a great deal of difference between advertising by those who are out to make money, sell a product, and keep people in their jobs, and the government employees whose job it is to care for and raise our children 7-8 hours a day in public schools. Ronald McDonald may be attractive to kids, but their parents have the responsibility and the ability to protect their children from those bad decisions. Parents have no such power in the classroom. It is the lies they are handed there that we should be spending our energy on. If we are not raising our children to be be immune to advertising, there is no lawsuit, no gov't agency, no lawyer's fat pocketbook that is going to change that we have not done our duty. Why is it that we are so convinced that suing some big company is going to make everything okay? That will never happen until we and our children learn to be responsible for ourselves.

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