|Ronald McDonald: He's lovin' it|
The story of San Francisco's ban on Happy Meals has come to an amusing conclusion. The city of killjoys has just enforced a prohibition on restaurants giving away toys with "unhealthy" food—a law that has only one intended target (the red-nosed fellow above). Needless to say, the law was passed for the chiiildren.
The politicians bragged that they had instituted a de facto ban on the Happy Meal when they passed the law. Their assumption was that the crafty corporate types had programmed kids to incessantly nag their parents to buy meals that the nanny state had decreed unhealthy by dangling a plastic toy in front of impressionable youngsters.
McDonalds' response has been beautiful in its simplicity: sell the food and the toys separately, charging 10 cents for the toy. Unlike the bone-headed prohibitionists, McDonalds understands that the toys have a value in themselves and parents are continuing to buy them—and the Happy Meals—in abundance.
A shrewd move by McDonalds, then, but these are Californian politicians we're talking about here; they could be outwitted by a bag of sand. The really smart part of Maccy D's counter-offensive is to give the 10 cents to charity. Not just any charity, mind, but the Ronald McDonald House charity which supports seriously ill and injured children.
So, think of the chiiiildren and buy a McDonalds toy. And while you're here, why not enjoy a Happy Meal?
Happy Meal sales haven’t slowed down, McDonald’s is making even more money, and parents are now spending an extra 10 cents per kid every time they stop by the golden arches.