McDonald’s Report card? “F”

Arrgghhh. I usually can’t stand the ‘lone crusader’ types, and that’s how one mother by the name of Susan Pagan was cast in this Orlando Sentinal newspaper article.

The comments by most people seemed to come out against her as yet another busy-body ruining a chance for the common folk to get a free happy meal. After all, she could refuse to take her own daughter there.

She could. But if my kid came home with this:

McDonald’s report card

I think this little black duck would be none too happy about it. I’d be outright appalled. I think I’d be seriously thinking of home schooling if there wasn’t a school nearby that could afford to forgo corporate sponsorship.

I’m not much in favour of controls over advertising for the most part – even advertising directed at children – but I think when it’s directed a captive audience (it’s illegal to not send your kid to school) and there’s no way to reasonably opt out then the sensible thing is an all-out ban. You shouldn’t have to relocate to the hills of Montana to get away from the reach of advertisers.

There is a world of difference between McDonald’s advertising during children’s cartoons: you can just switch off the TV. Fine if McDonald’s wants to sponsor a little league team or drop coupons in the mail, advertise in the newspaper, yahoo email, whatever. But kids have to go to school and they have to get report cards. I don’t have a problem with McDonald’s even advertising on TV – ‘hey kids, get an A, get a happy meal’. Parental authority is undermined enough by these companies and limits do need to be set.

So I say hooray for Susan Pagan!

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