McDonald's New Campaign for Kids: No Good or No Big Deal?

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
4/14/2011 2:09 PM   :  144 comments   :  16,421 Views

I don't watch much TV these days, so maybe I've missed it. But it seems like anytime I've seen a recent McDonald's commercial, Ronald McDonald is no where to be found. I remember those commercials as a kid- he was always buddies with the children, handing them some French fries to put a smile on their faces. But for those of you that thought Ronald might be a thing of the past, think again. McDonald's is launching a new series of ads, encouraging kids to interact with him online.

The new campaign features Ronald McDonald having fun playing with kids, while encouraging them to visit his website and download photos and videos (called Ronaldgrams) to share with others. In one commercial that kicked off recently, "a chatty Ronald greets folks on the street and poses with them for photos in an empty picture frame that he's carrying. "You can picture yourself with Ronald at Happymeal.com," says an off-screen voice. "Ask parents permission."

Some groups are upset that McDonald's has chosen to market directly to kids. McDonald's contends that he is just a fun example of the brand and never tries to sell kids on the product. To me, it's definitely direct marketing to children. These kinds of commercials give kids the idea that they too can have fun just like Ronald McDonald if they visit their neighborhood McDonald's. Kind of like how Joe the Camel commercials made it seem like it was cool to smoke. (Okay, maybe not quite that extreme, but you get the idea.)

To their credit, McDonald's has improved the quality of their Happy Meals in recent years. There are juice or low-fat milk options instead of soda and kids can get apples with dipping sauce instead of French fries. Personally, I still don't consider McDonald's to be a healthy food option for my kids, which is why we don't eat there. And I think using a happy and fun-loving clown to help sell their product to young people is not the most ethical choice. But that's my personal opinion.

What do you think about McDonald's new marketing campaign? Shame on them, or no big deal?


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Comments

  • 144
    It use to be that you could order Apple Dippers instead of fries which was a nice option. BUT NO LONGER! We rarely take our kids to McDonald's (once every 3 months). When I ask for Apple Dippers now, the package is 1/2 the size it use to be and they automatically put in a minnie order of fries! When I saw them put it into the bag - I gently reminded them that I did not order fries. GUESS WHAT?! They told me they AUTOMATICALLY put a small "sample" fries into EVERY Happy Meal now. Give me a break! - 12/5/2011   3:37:18 PM
  • 143
    It is a business's job to make money and a parent's job to control and raise their children. People need to stop blaming restaurants and commercials for their kids's problems and schools for everything else. Take responsibility as a parent for what your kids eat instead of attacking McD's (which I actually boycott) for doing what earns them money, which is the nature of free market. - 8/1/2011   12:49:11 PM
  • 142
    They can market what they want to sell to my children and grand children. It is the responsibility of the adults to make the best choices and to teach why we make those choices. A lot of adults need to step up to the plate and do their jobs! - 6/9/2011   11:01:33 PM
  • 141
    I wish they'd include Chicken Snack Wraps as an entree choice for Happy Meals. My kids and I love the Grilled ones!!! - 5/2/2011   12:48:39 PM
  • RUBYLOU62
    140
    I agree that as a parent I'm responsible for what my children eat and see (the good, bad and ugly). I don't have a problem with McD. There are several in my neighborhood and I make the choice to stop or drive right on by. - 4/20/2011   1:13:14 PM
  • 139
    I decided where our money was spent when my son was little. I decided what he was allowed to choose from. If it was up to him, he wanted McDonalds... because of the slides, not the clown or the food. But I also have the son that tries any kind of food and gets compliments (to me too!) from the lady running his elementary school cafeteria... my son hit the salad bar every time he bought lunch. I taught him to make choices and he is a very healthy active 16 year old. I am his parent. Not McDonald's and not Washington... the problem with places like McDonalds is when parents use it as a tool for bonding or as a treat. It adds to the romance a child can have with fast food. Make their choices for rewards or treats non-food items and check out the change!

    @SPMCCANN
    4/19/2011
    10:45:58 AM
    Parents are responsible for the health and well being of the their children. Parents make the choices. McDs sells junk food, so do many other restaurants. I took up spark people and exercise because if exercise and healthy living is not part of my life how can I expect it to be part of my children's. 138
    APRILCANDOIT
    4/19/2011
    1:10:38 AM
    Aren't all happy meal commercials aimed at kids? Why is anyone shocked? Is it we are afraid that children can't resist the tempation? How is the commercial different from any other kid-friendly commercial to get children to desire their product? 137
    CHRIS3874
    4/18/2011
    9:41:51 PM

    Whilw I wholeheartedly agree that its the parents responsibility for what untimately goes into their kids' pieholes, I dont like the idea of "Rotten Ronnie" directly marketing to the kids online. Its just like those stupid Dodge commercials with the little brat trying to sell minivans. NO THANKS. BTW I KNOW Rotten Ronnie is at least partly responsible for my weight probs. I hardly ever ate fast food when I lived at home. All that change when I got older. Now I think I am developing a dislike for it (thank goodness). 136
    HANOVERLADY
    4/18/2011
    5:56:43 PM

    I have a vague memory that Ronald used to be heavier but McDonald's slimmed him down a bit in response to concerns about his weight and it being associated with eating fast food. 135
    TERRIMARTIN2
    4/18/2011
    5:03:39 PM

    I don't believe it is up to the government or any other group of do-gooders to impose their rules/ideals on what I should or should not feed my children. I believe that nutrition labeling is sufficient. After that, it's up to me. 134
    BETHGREINER
    4/18/2011
    3:03:13 PM

    I don't think it is a big deal at all. I am the parent and I take responsibility for what my children eat. Everything should be allowed in moderation, including McDonald's. Our society is so quick to blame everyone else, it's time to take some personal responsibility for the choices we make. No one, not even my children, can FORCE me to go to McDonald's. And if a child has that much power over there parent(s), then that is a whole different issue than what is for dinner! 133
    PSALM42
    4/18/2011
    2:44:48 PM

    No big deal to us. We don't allow our children to eat there except for special occasions- like when we are traveling. They are young and haven't known anything different. 132
    WSHAMLIN
    4/18/2011
    11:23:12 AM
    We as parents should be making these decisions not the children. We have the choice to turn off this advertising and be the teachers not the add agencys. 131
    MSCRIGLER
    4/18/2011
    1:23:01 AM
    Bad, bad, bad idea... 130
    LESLIE_2B_LESS
    4/18/2011
    1:19:05 AM

    I was working at a county Health Fair recently and Ronald McDonald was there - most of the kids were scared of him. Plus I didn't feel McDonald's was too great to have at a "health fair" 129
    IMSPARKD
    4/17/2011
    11:47:22 PM

    I dont like it, but then again, if parents dont want their kids exposed to this type of marketing, they can monitor the sites their kids visit and llimit their exposure. 128
    NORASPAT
    4/17/2011
    10:21:16 PM

    When will MacDonalds wise up to the fact many young children are terrified of CLOWNS, just replace him with an educator for crying out loud. Most young kids are still respectful of them. 127
    JESSABELLA23
    4/17/2011
    7:31:04 PM

    McDonalds marketing directly to kids should be on no great shock to anyone, they have been doing it for years. Probably the only company that has 2 marketing campaigns going on at one time...one aimed at the general population, and one aimed specifically at children under 12. Face it, McDonalds is as successful as it is today because of marketing. The campaign is definitely no biggie to loose sleep over...at every place we go out to eat, we have the option of how healthy or unhealthy we want our meal to be. 126
    JUDYPOPPINS
    4/17/2011
    6:04:02 PM

    I've always liked Ronald McDonald...he puts a smile on my face and so does a Happy Meal. Come on parents, take some responsibility. If you never want your child to eat at McD's...don't take them. Learn to tell your kids NO, it's a life lesson to learn you don't get every thing you want. As for me, I occasionally visit McD's (and always get a Happy Meal for myself). I took my kids and now I take my granddaughters every so often. None of them are overweight, they are active and healthy..and they are learning there are choices to be made in life and you are responsible for the ones you make not some advertiser or company. 125
    ATZIONCH
    4/17/2011
    12:59:39 PM

    While it is a way to keep their bussiness moving, PARENTS still have the responsibility to teach their kids about making choices, that is a lifelong lesson. I am personally sick that so many people do not taking responsibility for themselves and their families! 124
    RUMBAMEL
    4/17/2011
    10:20:13 AM

    We are not big McD eaters and when we do partake I eat the parfait and maybe a burger with no fake cheese and no ketchup. Can't stand the fries and nuggets, ugh! Ok, I could go on and on.

    Anyway, my big concern would be with kids putting their pics and any info on the web and having sickos tracking them. It's bad enough that they use some goofball dressed up to sucker the kids into eating there in the first place, but I just don't want the kids getting predators, too.

    rumbamel 123
    LTMURPHY7
    4/17/2011
    9:34:12 AM
    why is this blog on for another day? 122
    AMANDA660
    4/17/2011
    9:34:06 AM

    We all have a choice to make. Marketing is marketing whether it be a fast food chain or a running shoe.....do the research and make the choice. 121
    JOHNWBROCKSR777
    4/17/2011
    7:14:19 AM

    No big deal! Who's in charge? 120
    BECKYANNE1
    4/17/2011
    2:17:11 AM

    Not a big deal. I just wish we'd quit blaming the company and start being parents. Learn to say no. It's really not that hard. I did it with my 3 boys and they never hated me for it. Life went on. 119
    DEUCE119
    4/17/2011
    12:42:40 AM

    I think instead of blaming McDonalds, we should take a good look at parents. We are the generation of just say yes to the kids. Makes life smoother that way. I think we need to stop looking at all our surroundings and lookk in the mirror. The best and worst role models are PARENTS! I didn't start smoking because of a commercial. My dad smoked and so do I. `Joe Camel had nothing to do with it. 118
    MARIABELLA
    4/16/2011
    10:43:22 PM
    I remember growing up with Ronald McDonald and never did I want to eat there just because of him! I don't think it is such a big deal. Parents control the money to buy the food and the transportation to get there so I feel the responsibility of where and what a child eats lies with the parent, not the advertising. 117
    SUGARHILLFARM
    4/16/2011
    9:36:00 PM

    I don't think it is a big deal. What I do think is a big deal is the fact that 'some groups' can have enough power to make government officials like city fathers ban certain things like toys, fries and sodas from Happy Meals because it's for their own good. What comes next?

    116
    BTRX71
    4/16/2011
    6:13:46 PM

    Not a big deal. It is all about teaching choices. That is up to the parents, grandparents... Let the kids enjoy the marketing techniques(toys,clowns). Teach them McD is for sometimes not everyday. Help them make healthier selections when they do go. 115
    POPEYETHETURTLE
    4/16/2011
    5:20:08 PM

    I'm trying to think if watching commercials and occasionally eating at Mickey D's while I was growing up has damaged my psyche or has been the cause of destructive eating habits ..... No, it hasn't. The times when my family ate at McDonald's was when we would go on vacation. We knew that McD's restaurants were clean and the food was consistently OK and their french fries were totally awesome (I know they were fried in lard, but the taste was the best).

    The last time we ate at a McDonald's was ..... at least six months ago.

    It's the parent's responsibility to educate their children, and an occasional visit to a fast-food place isn't going to poison your children. Advertisements for "Happy meals" never affected my two sons they would rather spend time at the baseball field or doing other active things when they were young. Sometimes just filling them up with food of any kind was a challenge. Now in their late 30's, neither one has any heart problems so I guess the extra fat that was in the occasional fast food meal hasn't hurt them.

    My vote - NBD 114
    TOWHEE
    4/16/2011
    2:36:51 PM

    OK, I'm going to show my age, but I remember growing up with Clarabell the Clown selling Wonder Bread and Welch's Grape Jelly on the Howdy Doody Show. To this day I've never tasted either product.

    It is the parents responsibility to make decisions about what to buy and why. It is their responsibility to teach their children about those decisions, so that the kids understand HOW decisions are made and WHAT goes into making a decision. These are important life lessons that need to be learned. 113
    MOMONTHERUN1
    4/16/2011
    12:19:19 PM

    Not a big deal. Just like anything else in life, there is a choice. You don't have to take your kids to McDonald's, Who is the parent and who is the child? Too many parents out there are letting their children run the roost and it is a shame. 112
    FLMOMX2
    4/16/2011
    11:10:31 AM

    I didn't take my kids to McDonalds because I don't like their food 111
    LADYBUD2
    4/16/2011
    10:14:25 AM

    NO BIG DEAL!!! 110
    JA261986
    4/16/2011
    10:01:25 AM
    I think its the parents responsibility to make good choices for their kids & monitor what they're doing online. McDonalds isnt the devil, they are a business & have been around for decades. Parents who bring their kids to McDonalds all the time are the ones to blame. Making better choices is the key to a childs development, not banning a business for doing what they have done for ages. 109
    DETERMINED_SOUL
    4/16/2011
    9:58:40 AM

    I, too, believe it is still an unhealthy choice and the business should not be directed toward children. I feel really bad for the parents that have to deal with upset children because they can not go to mc d's. 108
    DAWN220
    4/16/2011
    9:47:57 AM

    I do not take my kids to McDonald's except for a couple of times a year. I also restrict the websites they visit. I prefer McDonald's using this type of campaign because I can control it better 107
    MARTHA503
    4/16/2011
    5:30:26 AM
    When my children were young and asked for a soda whenever they saw me drinking one I told them they could have baby coke (milk!) and since we didn't frequent fast food joints it took them years to learn the difference! I eventually gave up all sodas and to this day my now grown up children drink very little soda or none at all. 106
    GAEA_GIRL37
    4/15/2011
    10:56:16 PM

    Personally I think it's fine to use a clown as their mascot. It's a great chance for parents to teach children about food that's not meant to be eaten every day, but only as a rare once-in-a-while occasion. If they use McDonald's as a reward, I think it's important to incorporate healthier non-food related rewards too and only use fast food on rare occasions. But that's just it. It's up to the parents. And the biggest influence is the kids seeing what the parents eat. If the kids get into the car and they see fast food bags all over and then their parents tell them that it's only an "occasional" thing, it's not going to fly. 105
    SUMMERSMILES1
    4/15/2011
    10:45:52 PM

    I don't like advertisements directed at children. 104
    DWKINSEY
    4/15/2011
    8:57:08 PM

    I don't like any kind of marketing aimed directly at children. I personally think it is unethical and exploitative. Using children to get their parents to spend money on a less-than-healthy product is just plain wrong. But if children are properly engaged in playing, reading, or another creative pursuit, instead of parked on their butts in front of the TV, it would be less of an issue. 103
    ETHELMERZ
    4/15/2011
    8:52:31 PM
    I think "Pizza Hut" ads and beer ads are far worse than anything McDonald's shows on the tv. We live where there are no fast foods places at all, only recently did a Subway's open, in fact, they also have stuff that doesn't look good for a person. Our kids grew up going to McDonald's now and then when we went down to the valley where there were some, none of our kids ever go to McDonald's at all since being grown up. Doesn't matter how many ads are on the tv, kids don't drive anywhere, it's the parent's, plain and simple. 102
    ROBI1976
    4/15/2011
    8:18:14 PM

    When my kids ask for fastfood I tell them it's fake food. Just because a clown peddles crap doesn't mean I'll give in. 101
    JBENKE
    4/15/2011
    6:22:44 PM
    Not the first or last company to direct their commercials to kids. I remember it being done when I was little. This isn't new.

    Just because my children tell me they want something, doesn't mean I need to get it for them. I'm the one who makes the decision to take them out to each instead of staying eating at home, not them. 100
    SEAWAVE
    4/15/2011
    6:19:09 PM

    It's disingenuous for McDo's to say they don't market to kids. That being said, it's a parent's responsibility to teach their children what to eat, to monitor what they watch on television and explain how advertising targets them (and what is real and not), and finally to monitor what they're doing on the computer. 99
    TAPPINGHEELS
    4/15/2011
    5:36:51 PM

    I don't know, McDonalds does advertise to children, but so do candy companies..and most stores. Parents are just looking for a scape goat for their lack of self discipline I think. Like my boyfriends son is fully addicted to McDonalds, because he has to get a toy with everything.... but I don't blame McDonalds, they are just being a company they are selling their product. I blame the fact that every week he takes him to McDonalds as their "bonding time" and every week his mother takes him to McDonalds before they drop him off for the weekend...... It's the parents fault, not Mcdonalds.
    @JAYELAITCH- EXCELLENT POINT~

    If you posted this blog on Yahoo etc... people would be lighting torches and getting out the pitch forks. SparkPeople are rational and can think!!!!

    - 4/19/2011   4:46:34 PM
  • SPMCCANN
    138
    Parents are responsible for the health and well being of the their children. Parents make the choices. McDs sells junk food, so do many other restaurants. I took up spark people and exercise because if exercise and healthy living is not part of my life how can I expect it to be part of my children's. - 4/19/2011   10:45:58 AM
  • APRILCANDOIT
    137
    Aren't all happy meal commercials aimed at kids? Why is anyone shocked? Is it we are afraid that children can't resist the tempation? How is the commercial different from any other kid-friendly commercial to get children to desire their product? - 4/19/2011   1:10:38 AM
  • 136
    Whilw I wholeheartedly agree that its the parents responsibility for what untimately goes into their kids' pieholes, I dont like the idea of "Rotten Ronnie" directly marketing to the kids online. Its just like those stupid Dodge commercials with the little brat trying to sell minivans. NO THANKS. BTW I KNOW Rotten Ronnie is at least partly responsible for my weight probs. I hardly ever ate fast food when I lived at home. All that change when I got older. Now I think I am developing a dislike for it (thank goodness). - 4/18/2011   9:41:51 PM
  • 135
    I have a vague memory that Ronald used to be heavier but McDonald's slimmed him down a bit in response to concerns about his weight and it being associated with eating fast food. - 4/18/2011   5:56:43 PM
  • 134
    I don't believe it is up to the government or any other group of do-gooders to impose their rules/ideals on what I should or should not feed my children. I believe that nutrition labeling is sufficient. After that, it's up to me. - 4/18/2011   5:03:39 PM
  • 133
    I don't think it is a big deal at all. I am the parent and I take responsibility for what my children eat. Everything should be allowed in moderation, including McDonald's. Our society is so quick to blame everyone else, it's time to take some personal responsibility for the choices we make. No one, not even my children, can FORCE me to go to McDonald's. And if a child has that much power over there parent(s), then that is a whole different issue than what is for dinner! - 4/18/2011   3:03:13 PM
  • PSALM42
    132
    No big deal to us. We don't allow our children to eat there except for special occasions- like when we are traveling. They are young and haven't known anything different. - 4/18/2011   2:44:48 PM
  • WSHAMLIN
    131
    We as parents should be making these decisions not the children. We have the choice to turn off this advertising and be the teachers not the add agencys. - 4/18/2011   11:23:12 AM
  • MSCRIGLER
    130
    Bad, bad, bad idea... - 4/18/2011   1:23:01 AM
  • 129
    I was working at a county Health Fair recently and Ronald McDonald was there - most of the kids were scared of him. Plus I didn't feel McDonald's was too great to have at a "health fair" - 4/18/2011   1:19:05 AM
  • 128
    I dont like it, but then again, if parents dont want their kids exposed to this type of marketing, they can monitor the sites their kids visit and llimit their exposure. - 4/17/2011   11:47:22 PM
  • 127
    When will MacDonalds wise up to the fact many young children are terrified of CLOWNS, just replace him with an educator for crying out loud. Most young kids are still respectful of them. - 4/17/2011   10:21:16 PM
  • 126
    McDonalds marketing directly to kids should be on no great shock to anyone, they have been doing it for years. Probably the only company that has 2 marketing campaigns going on at one time...one aimed at the general population, and one aimed specifically at children under 12. Face it, McDonalds is as successful as it is today because of marketing. The campaign is definitely no biggie to loose sleep over...at every place we go out to eat, we have the option of how healthy or unhealthy we want our meal to be. - 4/17/2011   7:31:04 PM
  • JUDYPOPPINS
    125
    I've always liked Ronald McDonald...he puts a smile on my face and so does a Happy Meal. Come on parents, take some responsibility. If you never want your child to eat at McD's...don't take them. Learn to tell your kids NO, it's a life lesson to learn you don't get every thing you want. As for me, I occasionally visit McD's (and always get a Happy Meal for myself). I took my kids and now I take my granddaughters every so often. None of them are overweight, they are active and healthy..and they are learning there are choices to be made in life and you are responsible for the ones you make not some advertiser or company. - 4/17/2011   6:04:02 PM
  • 124
    While it is a way to keep their bussiness moving, PARENTS still have the responsibility to teach their kids about making choices, that is a lifelong lesson. I am personally sick that so many people do not taking responsibility for themselves and their families! - 4/17/2011   12:59:39 PM
  • 123
    We are not big McD eaters and when we do partake I eat the parfait and maybe a burger with no fake cheese and no ketchup. Can't stand the fries and nuggets, ugh! Ok, I could go on and on.

    Anyway, my big concern would be with kids putting their pics and any info on the web and having sickos tracking them. It's bad enough that they use some goofball dressed up to sucker the kids into eating there in the first place, but I just don't want the kids getting predators, too.

    rumbamel - 4/17/2011   10:20:13 AM
  • LTMURPHY7
    122
    why is this blog on for another day? - 4/17/2011   9:34:12 AM
  • 121
    We all have a choice to make. Marketing is marketing whether it be a fast food chain or a running shoe.....do the research and make the choice. - 4/17/2011   9:34:06 AM
  • 120
    No big deal! Who's in charge? - 4/17/2011   7:14:19 AM
  • 119
    Not a big deal. I just wish we'd quit blaming the company and start being parents. Learn to say no. It's really not that hard. I did it with my 3 boys and they never hated me for it. Life went on. - 4/17/2011   2:17:11 AM
  • 118
    I think instead of blaming McDonalds, we should take a good look at parents. We are the generation of just say yes to the kids. Makes life smoother that way. I think we need to stop looking at all our surroundings and lookk in the mirror. The best and worst role models are PARENTS! I didn't start smoking because of a commercial. My dad smoked and so do I. `Joe Camel had nothing to do with it. - 4/17/2011   12:42:40 AM
  • 117
    I remember growing up with Ronald McDonald and never did I want to eat there just because of him! I don't think it is such a big deal. Parents control the money to buy the food and the transportation to get there so I feel the responsibility of where and what a child eats lies with the parent, not the advertising. - 4/16/2011   10:43:22 PM
  • 116
    I don't think it is a big deal. What I do think is a big deal is the fact that 'some groups' can have enough power to make government officials like city fathers ban certain things like toys, fries and sodas from Happy Meals because it's for their own good. What comes next?

    - 4/16/2011   9:36:00 PM
  • 115
    Not a big deal. It is all about teaching choices. That is up to the parents, grandparents... Let the kids enjoy the marketing techniques(toys,clowns). Teach them McD is for sometimes not everyday. Help them make healthier selections when they do go. - 4/16/2011   6:13:46 PM
  • 114
    I'm trying to think if watching commercials and occasionally eating at Mickey D's while I was growing up has damaged my psyche or has been the cause of destructive eating habits ..... No, it hasn't. The times when my family ate at McDonald's was when we would go on vacation. We knew that McD's restaurants were clean and the food was consistently OK and their french fries were totally awesome (I know they were fried in lard, but the taste was the best).

    The last time we ate at a McDonald's was ..... at least six months ago.

    It's the parent's responsibility to educate their children, and an occasional visit to a fast-food place isn't going to poison your children. Advertisements for "Happy meals" never affected my two sons they would rather spend time at the baseball field or doing other active things when they were young. Sometimes just filling them up with food of any kind was a challenge. Now in their late 30's, neither one has any heart problems so I guess the extra fat that was in the occasional fast food meal hasn't hurt them.

    My vote - NBD - 4/16/2011   5:20:08 PM
  • 113
    OK, I'm going to show my age, but I remember growing up with Clarabell the Clown selling Wonder Bread and Welch's Grape Jelly on the Howdy Doody Show. To this day I've never tasted either product.

    It is the parents responsibility to make decisions about what to buy and why. It is their responsibility to teach their children about those decisions, so that the kids understand HOW decisions are made and WHAT goes into making a decision. These are important life lessons that need to be learned. - 4/16/2011   2:36:51 PM
  • 112
    Not a big deal. Just like anything else in life, there is a choice. You don't have to take your kids to McDonald's, Who is the parent and who is the child? Too many parents out there are letting their children run the roost and it is a shame. - 4/16/2011   12:19:19 PM
  • 111
    I didn't take my kids to McDonalds because I don't like their food - 4/16/2011   11:10:31 AM
  • LOVESLIFE48
    110
    NO BIG DEAL!!! - 4/16/2011   10:14:25 AM
  • 109
    I think its the parents responsibility to make good choices for their kids & monitor what they're doing online. McDonalds isnt the devil, they are a business & have been around for decades. Parents who bring their kids to McDonalds all the time are the ones to blame. Making better choices is the key to a childs development, not banning a business for doing what they have done for ages. - 4/16/2011   10:01:25 AM
  • 108
    I, too, believe it is still an unhealthy choice and the business should not be directed toward children. I feel really bad for the parents that have to deal with upset children because they can not go to mc d's. - 4/16/2011   9:58:40 AM
  • 107
    I do not take my kids to McDonald's except for a couple of times a year. I also restrict the websites they visit. I prefer McDonald's using this type of campaign because I can control it better - 4/16/2011   9:47:57 AM
  • 106
    When my children were young and asked for a soda whenever they saw me drinking one I told them they could have baby coke (milk!) and since we didn't frequent fast food joints it took them years to learn the difference! I eventually gave up all sodas and to this day my now grown up children drink very little soda or none at all. - 4/16/2011   5:30:26 AM
  • JENNISTAR37
    105
    Personally I think it's fine to use a clown as their mascot. It's a great chance for parents to teach children about food that's not meant to be eaten every day, but only as a rare once-in-a-while occasion. If they use McDonald's as a reward, I think it's important to incorporate healthier non-food related rewards too and only use fast food on rare occasions. But that's just it. It's up to the parents. And the biggest influence is the kids seeing what the parents eat. If the kids get into the car and they see fast food bags all over and then their parents tell them that it's only an "occasional" thing, it's not going to fly. - 4/15/2011   10:56:16 PM
  • 104
    I don't like advertisements directed at children. - 4/15/2011   10:45:52 PM
  • 103
    I don't like any kind of marketing aimed directly at children. I personally think it is unethical and exploitative. Using children to get their parents to spend money on a less-than-healthy product is just plain wrong. But if children are properly engaged in playing, reading, or another creative pursuit, instead of parked on their butts in front of the TV, it would be less of an issue. - 4/15/2011   8:57:08 PM
  • ETHELMERZ
    102
    I think "Pizza Hut" ads and beer ads are far worse than anything McDonald's shows on the tv. We live where there are no fast foods places at all, only recently did a Subway's open, in fact, they also have stuff that doesn't look good for a person. Our kids grew up going to McDonald's now and then when we went down to the valley where there were some, none of our kids ever go to McDonald's at all since being grown up. Doesn't matter how many ads are on the tv, kids don't drive anywhere, it's the parent's, plain and simple. - 4/15/2011   8:52:31 PM
  • 101
    When my kids ask for fastfood I tell them it's fake food. Just because a clown peddles crap doesn't mean I'll give in. - 4/15/2011   8:18:14 PM
  • 100
    Not the first or last company to direct their commercials to kids. I remember it being done when I was little. This isn't new.

    Just because my children tell me they want something, doesn't mean I need to get it for them. I'm the one who makes the decision to take them out to each instead of staying eating at home, not them. - 4/15/2011   6:22:44 PM
  • 99
    It's disingenuous for McDo's to say they don't market to kids. That being said, it's a parent's responsibility to teach their children what to eat, to monitor what they watch on television and explain how advertising targets them (and what is real and not), and finally to monitor what they're doing on the computer. - 4/15/2011   6:19:09 PM
  • TAPPINGHEELS
    98
    I don't know, McDonalds does advertise to children, but so do candy companies..and most stores. Parents are just looking for a scape goat for their lack of self discipline I think. Like my boyfriends son is fully addicted to McDonalds, because he has to get a toy with everything.... but I don't blame McDonalds, they are just being a company they are selling their product. I blame the fact that every week he takes him to McDonalds as their "bonding time" and every week his mother takes him to McDonalds before they drop him off for the weekend...... It's the parents fault, not Mcdonalds. - 4/15/2011   5:36:51 PM
  • 97
    no big deal. - 4/15/2011   3:26:57 PM
  • 96
    One of the reasons that I love Sparkpeople is that there are so many RATIONAL people who are members. When given the opportunity to point the finger and rail at an obvious and popular target like McDonalds for all the woes of the weight challenged (because I can't think of a group name at the moment) we don't do it. We put the responsibility for what goes in our mouths on ourselves - what a concept, eh! And not only that, we also take responsibility for what goes into the mouths of our kids. How amazing is that?
    When I read blogs and comments like these, my whole day is brighter. Way to go people of Sparkpeople! (Do rational people join Spark or does Spark do sonething magical to those who join????) - 4/15/2011   3:05:22 PM
  • 95
    They do market to children. While some of their choices have improved, most have not. The McNugget is not healthy, no matter what they say. Neither is most other choices. Too high in fat and SALT. And additives. - 4/15/2011   2:39:55 PM

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