They may be called Happy Meals, but many parents aren’t very happy with how they have to battle their children when they see their favorite cartoon character happens to be a toy in the popular fast food kids lunches.
Maybe they are at their wits end, but some parents have decided to take legal action. With childhood obesity rates going through the roof, some parents think that desperate measures need to be taken. Which may explain why last month, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) served McDonald’s with a notice of intent to sue if the fast food restaurant continues to promote Happy Meals with toys.
According to CSPI’s letter of intent, they are basing the potential lawsuit on the fact, they believe, McDonald’s is using toys to market to small children in a deceptive manner under the consumer protection laws in a number of states, including California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Texas, and the District of Columbia.
The letter, in part, states that “McDonald’s practices are predatory and wrong” and “illegal, because marketing to kids under eight is inherently deceptive, because young kids are not developmentally advanced enough to understand the persuasive intent of marketing.”
In the McDonald’s rebuttal, Vice President of Communications for McDonald’s USA William Whitman says: “We are proud of our Happy Meal, which gives our customers wholesome food and toys of the highest quality and safety. Getting a toy is just one part of a fun, family experience at McDonald’s.”