#advertising, end of the Happy Meal?

End of the Happy Meal?

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors have passed a law that sees if becoming the first major U.S. city to crack down on giving away free toys with unhealthy restaurant meals for children.

With a very strong vote of 8 to 3, it is now veto proof so becomes law on December 1, 2010.

It is similar to a statue passed in Santa Clara County, requiring that restaurant kids’ meals meet certain nutritional standards before they could be sold with toys. Opponents of the law include the National Restaurant Association and McDonald’s Corp, which used its now wildly popular Happy Meal to pioneer the use of free toys to market directly to children.

McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal in 1979, and since the latest data shows they spent USD$520m (2006) on advertising and advertising and toys to promote meals for children (U.S. Federal Trade Commission). When the efforts of other food and beverage companies were included, promotional spending aimed at children topped $1.6 billion.

Will this spread across the US and then to Europe?


 

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