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brazil targeting kids lawsuits obesity reputation mcdonalds

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#1 Hum

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 14:19

This week, Brazilian consumer protection agency Procon fined McDonald's $1.6 million for targeting children with advertising and Happy Meal toys.

While this will have little effect on the fast-food behemoth's bottom line (the company spends $2 billion annually on advertising alone), a precedent has been set. More fines aimed at McDonald's marketing could follow.

"This is not an isolated case," urged Renan Ferraciolli, Procon's top lawyer. "There's no need to appeal as they do to children without the maturity or the rationality to enter the market as consumers."

The Happy Meal is one of McDonald's most successful marketing devices: Happy Meals are rumored to account for around 10% of all sales.

But the Happy Meal has collected a range of enemies who want to see it die. Here are a few of them:

Health activists:

Childhood obesity has doubled, while adolescent obesity tripled, in the past three decades. In an unfortunate coincidence, the Happy Meal is 34 years old. Suspicion that these two things are related has led to growing action by consumer groups around the world.

These groups seek to tone down the intensity with which the products are marketed to children. According to a study from Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, the average preschooler sees 1,000 ads for fast food each year.

Lawyers:

Bans on ads are a frequent occurrence in Europe, but in the U.S. they gain less traction. Last year, a San Franciso judge dismissed a class-action lawsuit seeking to ban Happy Meal toys in California. But the lawsuit shows that concern is growing, and McDonald's is increasingly the target.

"McDonald's must stop exploiting children at some point," said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The Center, along with a mother of two young children, filed the anti-Happy Meal lawsuit.

Though it began offering healthier options, like apple slices in Happy Meals, in 2011, McDonald's has stood its ground in the face of Happy Meal naysayers. "We are very proud of our Happy Meals and will vigorously defend our brand, our reputation and our food," said spokeswoman Danya Proud.

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#2 Mr Nom Nom's

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 15:57

What a load of crap - parents DECIDE what their children eat therefore the responsibility sits with the parents or are they saying parents are idiots?

#3 Deleted Bye

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 16:05

It almost sounds like some blame McDonald's for the obesity problem...

#4 Buttus

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 16:10

people want to win a class action lawsuit so they have more money to spend at mcdonalds!

#5 Ph1b3r0pt1c

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 16:12

It almost sounds like some blame McDonald's for the obesity problem...

Maybe not blame, but the $1 menu doesnt help :p

#6 vcfan

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 16:19

stupid. nobody is forcing anyone to eat mcdonalds. you order what you would like to eat. all the nutritional information is readily available. I don't see how mcdonalds should be punished for providing a convenient service, cooked and prepared food. oh the horror.

#7 Steven P.

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 16:21

What a load of crap - parents DECIDE what their children eat therefore the responsibility sits with the parents or are they saying parents are idiots?


Agreed

It almost sounds like some blame McDonald's for the obesity problem...


Partly is, I saw a documentary a while ago where PR and ex Mc'D advisors brought about the "Super Size" campaign to increase profits and they all agreed that before it, no-one complained about the size of the meals :p

#8 adrynalyne

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 16:22

stupid. nobody is forcing anyone to eat mcdonalds. you order what you would like to eat. all the nutritional information is readily available. I don't see how mcdonalds should be punished for providing a convenient service, cooked and prepared food. oh the horror.


You call that food?

smh

#9 +Chicane-UK

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 16:29

You call that food?

smh


Everything in moderation. Nothing wrong with a McDonalds from time to time, as part of a balanced diet.

#10 adrynalyne

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 16:33

Everything in moderation. Nothing wrong with a McDonalds from time to time, as part of a balanced diet.


What part of McDs is part of a balanced diet? ;)

#11 +MikeChipshop

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 16:34

Everything in moderation. Nothing wrong with a McDonalds from time to time, as part of a balanced diet.


Exactly. Work hard, play hard n'all that :p

#12 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 17:02

What part of McDs is part of a balanced diet? ;)


There's nothing inherently unhealthy about McDonald's meals. The main criticism is the size of some of the meals, which can amount to over 1,500 calories - 75% of the daily calorie allowance for an active woman. That's without even considering sides, like muffins, McFlurrys and brownies. As with most things, when eaten in moderation it is actually relatively healthy. However, it is worth pointing out that standards vary depending on the region. In the US a lot of items contain HFC, portion sizes are larger and there was the Pink Slime scandal, which makes it less healthy than other regions.

As for the article, most countries have restrictions on advertising to children as they lack the ability to critically assess the statements being made. It's a sensible policy and McDonald's should be abiding by the regulations in the each region, which it appears it was not doing. Therefore the fine seems entirely appropriate.

#13 +techbeck

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 17:15

This is dumb. Parents buy the food and parents these days would rather give the kids what they want because it easier and less hassle to say no. My parents told me no all the time.

#14 +MikeChipshop

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 17:18

This is dumb. Parents buy the food and parents these days would rather give the kids what they want because it easier and less hassle to say no. My parents told me no all the time.


Exactly. My parents bought me up relatively healthy even though i was in London surrounded by take-away's, and you know why? Because they also said 'No'. Plain and simple. If you can't say no when it's necessary for your child's health then i'm sure there's a lot more failings going on in your parenting.

#15 Anibal P

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 17:29

What part of McDs is part of a balanced diet? ;)


I guarantee you eat things that makes McDonalds food look lie gourmet cooking, so get off your fake high horse