Interesting commentary on the banning of Happy Meal toys…

I found this article over at Grist really fascinating:

MC-INTERPRETING THE LAW

Why the Happy Meal is a crime—and not just a culinary one

It’s an interesting take, and one I’m both disappointed and unsurprised has not gotten much “play” in the media versions of this fairly dramatic story.

Read the actual article, but in a nutshell: the author points out that it’s not that the “government is telling us what to feed our kids” that promotes the ban, but the fact that marketing directly to children is against the law. Did you know that? I didn’t know that. I’m not sure the TV networks know it either. The law says that deception in advertising is not a First Amendment right but is against the law, and that children under a certain age are cognitively not yet able to discern that they are being marketed to, and thus any marketing directly to them is inherently deceptive.

I’ve seen more tenuous legal gyrations hold water; this one makes pretty good sense to me.

The thing is, there’s SO MUCH marketing directly to kids, so many instances where this legal requirement is just completely blown off, that I don’t think most of us are even aware it exists. But…it does.

So when you think of that, giving kids a free toy if they buy a really unhealthy meal is marketing to kids, and thus just plain illegal.

Hmm. Makes a little sense to me. Thoughts?

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Posted on January 27, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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