06/23/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
Washington, DC – A nutrition watchdog group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, reported Tuesday, June 22, 2010, that it plans to sue McDonald’s for what it calls unfair and deceptive marketing with regards to the company’s use of Happy Meals, as reported by CNN Money.
The CSPI issued a statement claiming “McDonald’s is the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children…It’s a creepy and predatory practice that warrants an injunction.”
The notice letter from the organization states McDonald’s toy-related promotions violate state consumer protection laws in four states, along with the District of Columbia. The letter gives McDonald’s 30 days to agree to stop the deceptive marketing before a lawsuit is filed.
The CSPI claims that luring children to the meals with toys instills bad eating habits and puts children at higher risks of developing obesity, diabetes and other diet-related diseases.
McDonald’s fought back, saying that its U.S. advertising campaign is focused on low-calorie Happy Meals.
McDonald’s spokesman William Whitman said in a prepared statement, “We couldn’t disagree more with the misrepresentation of our food and marketing practices.”
Michale Jacobson, director of CSPI, acknowledged that parents are mostly responsible for their children’s eating habits, but then said; “multi-billion-dollar corporations make parents’ jobs nearly impossible by giving away toys and bombarding kids with slick advertising.”
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