McDonalds has reportedly been sued by a US consumer advocacy group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), over accusations that the American fast food corporation used deceptive practices to market Happy Meals to children.
In the lawsuit, filed on behalf of a 41-year-old mother of two in California, the CSPI alleges that McDonalds makes use of promotional toys in Happy Meals to advertise to children, knowing full well that this incentive will make youngster pester their parents to visit one of the fast food chain’s restaurants.
The CSPI makes the point of stating that most Happy Meals contain levels of salt, fat and calories that are considered to be above the levels recommended for children under the age of 8.
The lawsuit is not seeking damages in this case, although McDonalds will have to use its professional insurance (commercial legal expenses) to cover legal fees and other related costs if the company is unsuccessful in court.
In response to the CSPI suit and one previous legal dispute, McDonald’s released a statement which read:
“We are proud of our Happy Meals and intend to vigorously defend our brand, our reputation and our food,”
“We are confident that parents understand and appreciate that Happy Meals are a fun treat, with quality, right-sized food choices for their children that can fit into a balanced diet.”