Sunday 4 December 2011

McDonalds 1 - Food Fascists 0

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.



F***W*T TW****R said...

laughed so much my socks flew off.

Anonymous said...

This needs celebration with a Happy Meal, although the nearest McDo's is a fair drive away.

Tim Worstall said...

It actually gets even better.

It used to be that if you just wanted the toy you could buy that for $2.18 and then buy the kid an apple or something.

Now, however, this option no longer exists. You can *only* get the toy by buying the hamburger /fries happy meal and then paying the extra 10 cents.

You've got to buy the grease in order to get the toy.

Anonymous said...

A city and state that I shall never return to. They must lose millions in tourism now.

dearieme said...

I prefer fish & chips, myself. Vinegar, please, no brown sauce. Pickled onion too, thanks. Oh, and take off the fish and throw on a bloody puddy. Yum, yum.

Anonymous said...

"... but these are Californian politicians we're talking about here; they could be outwitted by a bag of sand."

Yea, well too bad the tobacco companies could never figure out how to outwit 'em or else there'd be no ban on tobacco retail sales in pharmacies, no restrictions and grandfathering out of tobacco retail licenses, no smoking bans indoors without there being at least smoking rooms - and certainly no outdoor bans encompassing every square inch of outdoor space and including up to $500 fines for lighting up outside. That bit of f*ckwittery the tobacco companies have yet to step up to the plate and to challenge. Maybe McDonald's can show them a thing or two and give them some ideas.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Prohibitionists never seem to understand this concept of 'unintended consequences', do they? They're generally extremely dumb, mind, so hardly surprising.

Anonymous said...

It is unconstitutional for states or locals to pass laws that restrict economic activity and the smokefree activists know this.

Its why they are always pushing the LEVEL PLAYING FIELD CARD and conducting BOGUS economic impact studies!

Anonymous said...

Federalism divides the state's power and the federal government's power. Clearly, when the issue reaches the Supreme Court, the court will rule on the side of the economy and remove smoking bans, if they do this for no other reason than past rulings on issues where economy and individual rights were involved. It is good for democracy to have a way for an issue to go through each state and then finally be resolved as a topic for the entire nation. Whether the Supreme Court sees this as a takings issue or a privacy issue, the fact remains that because of the commerce clause in the Constitution, the court will say that any law that ultimately affects the economy is only something the federal government can do and that any state law banning smoking in places of private business practice is unconstitutional.