We all know that we are in an age of crazy lawsuits. From hot coffee that’s too hot to warning signs that toys are supposed to be played with and not eaten, companies have had to go overboard with cautiousness about marketing their products on Websites using MySQL. However, another crazy lawsuit is potentially in the works and this one targets the McDonald’s Happy Meals. It turns out one group is upset that Happy Meals (designed for kids) actually have small toys in them, and they are telling McDonald’s to remove the toys or be sued.
The Associated Press reports in a story on GOPUSA that the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI, a left-wing advocacy group) “threatened to file a lawsuit against McDonald’s Tuesday, charging that the fast food chain ‘unfairly and deceptively’ markets the toys to children.”
“McDonald’s marketing has the effect of conscripting America’s children into an unpaid drone army of word-of-mouth marketers, causing them to nag their parents to bring them to McDonald’s,” CSPI’s Stephen Gardner wrote to the heads of the chain in a letter announcing the lawsuit.
The center, which has filed dozens of lawsuits against food companies in recent years, is hoping the publicity and the threat of a lawsuit will force McDonald’s to negotiate with them on the issue. The group announced the lawsuit in the letter to McDonald’s 30 days before filing it with the hope that the company will agree to stop selling the toys before a suit is filed.
Although the AP story glosses over some of the ridiculous comments made by CSPI, a story running on NYDailyNews.com digs a little deeper.
McDonald’s practices unfair and deceptive marketing, CSPI said, claiming that it is illegal under various state consumer protection laws. On Tuesday, CSPI served the fast-food giant notice that it intends to sue.
“McDonald’s is the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children,” said Stephen Gardner, the firm’s litigation director, in a press release. “It’s a creepy and predatory practice that warrants an injunction.”
A creepy and predatory practice? Aren’t we talking about a cheap little toy for kids in a meal designed for kids? What’s just as crazy is that the comments by CPSI personnel lead one to believe that kids can somehow drive to McDonald’s themselves and pig out on Happy Meals all day because they are hooked on the toys. Michael Jacobson, CSPI director, said that “multibillion-dollar corporations make parents’ job nearly impossible by giving away toys and bombarding kids with slick advertising.”
Give me a break! If a parent can’t stop taking his child to McDonald’s, then the parent has the problem…. not the child and not the big, bad evil corporation. The lawsuit is just ridiculous, and it’s just another attempt to take decision-making out of the hands of parents and put it in the hands of legislators and the courts. I say, don’t put a frown in my kid’s Happy Meal.