Recently, the Center for Science in the Public Interest said that they would sue McDonald’s over the placement of toys in their popular children’s Happy Meals. Their logic being at McDonald’s uses the toys to help get kids hooked on McDonald’s fast food, which can be unhealthy if eaten regularly and in oversized portions. McDonald’s countered that they have healthy options for the children’s happy meals, for example parents have a choice of buying either grease laden fries which are heavily salted, or apple slices. However, the public interest group warned that McDonald’s is like the stranger handing out candy in the playground to unsuspecting kids, and noting that children’s developmental immaturity is being taken advantage of by coupling toys with the selling of unhealthy food.
However, despite denials, McDonald’s has tried other tactics in the past to get kids hooked on fast food, here is a humorous look at ten of them:
1. Ronald McDonald frequently makes unannounced visits to public schools encouraging kids to ask their parents to take them to McDonald’s, even suggesting that doing so will help them to get a better grade in school. Teachers are given gift certificates for free food at McDonald’s if they look the other way.
2. Inserted into McDonald’s commercials are subliminal messages that read, “You Need Toys from McDonald’s” and “Be Sure To Ask Your Parents To Take You to McDonald’s To Eat Fries.”
3. A lot of the toys that children buy from McDonald’s rapidly auto-biodegrade in a couple weeks, thus necessitating another trip to replace the mysteriously vanishing toys.
4. McDonald’s did a survey of Facebook users to figure out how they first got hooked to the social networking site, and then adapted that same technique to the selling of Happy Meals.
5. McDonald’s chicken McNuggets were developed at several state prisons to see what type of food would produce the most addictive behavior in the inmates. This is when they discovered that if they gave a small “toy” with the nuggets, such as a toothbrush or cigarette, the prisoners would request the McNuggets with greater frequency.
6. Ronald McDonald’s secret sauce was actually developed at a scientific laboratory under a project whose goal was to create a sauce, using household ingredients such as Thousand Island dressing, which would be as addictive as alcohol. To this date, Ronald McDonald has failed to answer whether this “experiment” was a success, though many industry insiders say it was.
7. Several of Ronald McDonald Associates such as Grimace and the Hamburgler, have had past arrests for trying to sell Happy Meals in dark alleys to children returning home from school, without their parents permission.
8. A new type of Happy Meal headed to stores in September of 2010 and made for adults, would serve adult portions of food and come with your choice of either a bootleg DVD of a film out in theaters, or a gift certificate to Best Buy. To order this happy meal customers will have to go to the back of the McDonald’s and whisper “Give me Daddy’s Happy Meal or Give me Mommy’s Happy Meal.” It is expected that only one per customer will be available. McDonald’s hopes that by addicting parents to adult Happy Meals, it will help them retain their most loyal customers: children.
10. The caramel dipping sauce for the apple slices doesn’t have just caramel in it.
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