2 November 2009
McDonald's has spent over two billion dollars each year on advertising. The Golden Arches are now more recognized than the Christian Cross. McDonald’s uses collectable toys, television adverts, and promotional schemes in schools and figures such as Ronald McDonald to bombard their main target group: children. Many parents object strongly to the influence this has over their own children. Yet, McDonald's argue that their advertising is no worse than anyone else's and that they adhere to all the advertising codes in each country. In this paper, I will discuss McDonald’s advertising and how it the affects our children. (http://www.mcspotlight.org/issues/advertising/index.html)
Researchers at Stanford University found that children as young as three years old responded to the fast food chain's familiar logo and packaging, saying that they preferred the taste of food coming out of McDonald's bags to the taste of the same food items emerging from plain paper bags. Scientists studied 63 low-income children enrolled in Head Start centers in California. The kids ranged in age from 3 years to 5 years. The children participate in more than 104 taste tests with some of McDonald's most popular items including a hamburger, French fries and chicken nuggets.
On average, 48% of the kids said they preferred the taste of the McDonald's labeled hamburger, compared with 37% who preferred the unmarked burger; 59% liked the McDonald's branded chicken nuggets compared with 18% for the unbranded nuggets, and 77% said the French fries in the bag stamped with the McDonald's arches and a smile tasted better than the fries from a plain white bag. (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/08/06/health/webmd/main3139085.shtml)
Parents and child advocacy groups have long maintained that advertising targeted to children can be harmful, since young minds are not able to...