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August 4, 2010

Contact:  Josh Golin (617-896-9369; josh<at>commercialfreechildhood.org)
               
For Immediate Release

Parents Demand End to Violent Happy Meal Toy Promotion;
Action Figure Tells Kids, "It's Clobberin' Time"

 

BOSTON -- August 4 -- The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has launched a letter-writing campaign demanding that McDonald's pull its current Happy Meal promotion featuring Marvel comic book heroes.  One action figure, The Thing, menacingly roars "IT'S CLOBBERIN' TIME!" each time a child presses a button on its back.  Another, The Human Torch, is a man on fire.

"It's bad enough to use junk toys to sell children on junk food," said CCFC's Director Dr. Susan Linn.  "But now, for preschool boys, a so-called happy meal at McDonald's features the horrifying spectacle of a man engulfed in flames and a menacing figure that explicitly spurs them to violence."   


McDonald's Happy Meal promotions have increasingly come under attack from public health advocates. In April, Santa Clara County, California banned toy giveaways at fast food restaurants with children's meals of poor nutritional quality.  In June, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) served McDonald's with a notice of its intent to sue if the fast food giant continues to use toys to promote Happy Meals. In response, a McDonald's executive told Restaurant News that "getting a toy is just one part of a fun, family experience at McDonald's."


Replied Dr. Linn, "If clobberin' time is McDonald's idea of family fun, it's time to steer clear of the Golden Arches."


 

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups and concerned parents who counter the harmful effects of marketing to children through action, advocacy, education, research, and collaboration among organizations and individuals who care about children. CCFC is a project of Third Sector New England (www.tsne.org).
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