It’s nice to know that I’m not the only parent horrified by the McDonald’s play sets available for kids in Toys ‘r’ us stores throughout Australia. In fact, I initially thought I was seeing things. Really? Parents actually buy these for their children? What parent would willingly foster the idea of eating sugar laden, chemical filled, cancer-causing fast food by providing it as part of a child’s imaginative play? And what toy store could possibly think this was an appropriate toy in light of an obesity epidemic in Australia?
It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of McDonald’s – especially the way they target children through their plastic fantastic playgrounds, happy meals and online games. I think they lack integrity as a company in many ways including how they market their revoltingly unhealthy food without conscience.
But I won’t lie and say we live an anti-McDonald’s lifestyle. We do occasionally go through the drive thru to grab some fries and very occasionally pop in for a treat and a play. Am I hypocrite? Probably but I’m not preaching perfection here. We all do our best. But I would never faciliate or support my children playing ‘Mcdonalds hamburgers’ by buying them the branded merchandise. Who’s with me?
Keeping kids healthy is a full time job and all parents want the best for their families. However, despite our best efforts, kids are bombarded by junk food advertising everywhere they turn. Now we have to fight the battle in our toy stores.– Corrina Langelaan (creator of the campaign against McDonald’s play sets in Toys ‘r’ us)
Junkfood advertising is not okay and it is definitely not okay when aimed at children who lack the cognitive ability to process these sorts of images and messages and 100% not okay in a toy store! Surely as parents, we have to draw the line somewhere. What’s next? McDonald’s advertising in schools? Oh, hang on..that’s already happening (in the US).
If you agree please sign this petition started by a (clearly, awesome and proactive) concerned Australian mum.
I know there is a great deal of cynicism when it comes to signing online petitions. Do they really work? Do 500 signatures really make a difference to these big issues? The answer is yes! We can’t underestimate the power of our collective voices when it comes to these concerns. Local members of parliament, businesses and companies WILL listen to consumer complaints – especially collective ones. The key word here is ‘collective’ – which is why grassroots campaigns are actually quite effective at gaining the necessary publicity to bring about change.
If you are passionate about protecting kids from junk food advertising and marketing- get involved. The parents jury Australia is a great source of information about junk food advertising and children and gives great insight in to what is happening at a corporate level and what parents can do to protect their children.
McDonald’s play sets? Mmmmmm. No thanks.