Are McDonald’s Happy Meals Scamming Children?


By Nedeen Khashashina, Staff Writer

McDonald’s is facing a class-action lawsuit from a Quebec father, Antonio Bramante, who claims that the stern laws against advertising to children under 13 years of age are being broken by the company’s Happy Meals.

A father of three young children, Bramante says he eats McDonald’s about once every two weeks because his children keep begging him. He claims that the company targets children by associating the toys that come with the Happy Meals with popular film releases.

Quebec does not allow any form of advertising or marketing towards children under the age of 13. “McDonald’s has a legal obligation to respect that law and they’re not, in Quebec at least,” stated Joey Zukran, Bramante’s lawyer who filed the class action on his behalf.

There are three exceptions to Quebec’s advertising law that excuse certain advertisements, including those in children’s magazines, promotions for a children’s entertainment event, and store windows, displays, containers, packaging, and labels. However, Zukran argues that none of these exceptions cover McDonald’s.

After a ruling confirming the lawsuit two weeks ago by a Quebec court judge, anyone was able to request to join the class-action as long as they purchased a McDonald’s Happy Meal in Quebec from November 2013, Zukran stated.

“We are aware of our obligations under Quebec’s advertising laws and reiterate that we do not believe this class action has merit,” McDonald’s responded to the allegations.

Although McDonald’s is one of the largest toy distributors, many have begun to rethink their purchases and whether they are truly intelligent and logical.