Those who applauded San Francisco’s decision to essentially ban McDonald’s Happy Meals will be tickled pink by the decision of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (also known as Nader’s Nags) to go ahead and sue to have the courts impose a nationwide ban. According to CNS News:
Stephen Gardner, litigation director for CSPI, told CNSNews.com that his group applauds San Francisco’s action, but it won’t have any impact on the CSPI lawsuit, which is close to being filed.
Gardner said he has lined up two plaintiffs — a mother and a child — and the details of when and where the lawsuit will be filed should be finalized in the next few weeks.
“The lawsuit is based on consumer protection laws, which say it is illegal to deceive consumers – in this case, children,” Gardner told CNSNews.com.
Happy Meals ads, Gardner claimed, are unfair to both children and parents.
“It’s a lay-down that children are deceived by this type of marketing because it’s not a theory but a scientific fact that young kids – 6, 4, even as high as 8 – do not understand advertising. They don’t know it’s advertising, their shields are not up and they just think it is a good message telling them to eat junk food. They are deceived,” he said.
“It is also unfair to their parents because it makes a parent’s job very hard and it inculcates a lifetime of Big Mac Attacks.”
I’ll come back to that remark about parents in a moment. But consider this irony: CSPI claims that McDonald’s ads are “deceptive,” because children as old as 8 can’t understand advertising. So Gardner says he’s got two plaintiffs–a mother and a child–lined up to front his suit. Now, since the child in question would have to be 8 or younger to be a credible complainant (after all, how could you take his or her word for what he or she thought of the advertising years ago?), what do you suppose the chances are that the little boy or girl understands the suit??
Now, as far as parents go, you’ve got to love his remark that McDonald’s advertising “makes a parent’s job very hard.” Well, gosh golly gee.
You know what makes a parent’s job genuinely hard in this society? People like Gardner, and the government bureaucrats who think as he does. The state, academia, the media, and the public activist sector are full of people (many of whom have never met any actual children) who consider themselves experts on how to parent. They know exactly what children should eat, how they should play, when they should learn about sex, how they should spend their free time, by whom they should be taught, how they should interact with one another, what they should think about moral questions, etc. And if you don’t agree with them, to court with you! The Experts Shall Not Be Disobeyed!
I’ve got no particular brief for McDonald’s, their products, or their advertising. But can someone please get these people to stop sticking their noses into everyone else’s business?
Oh, and one other thing. Why is it that the same people who believe 12-year-olds have a right to make complicated decisions about medical care (specifically, abortion) without parental involvement–in other words, people who are unreservedly pro-choice when it comes to the decision to kill the unborn–think that the average parent is too incompetent to be trusted with choices regarding their children’s nutrition?