Forums > Social Discussion > Marketing fastfood to kids

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ickleMatt
ickleMatt

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Posted:McDonalds is the largest toy company in the world, selling or giving away more than 1.5 billion toys.

McDonalds is now the biggest purchaser of satellite photography; to hunt down schools and busy road junctions to spew their products.

McDonalds holds focus groups for toddlers.

Is there any surprise that some kids can recognise the goldern arches before their own name?

Guardian - Comment is free

I remember as a young kid bullying my parents into taking me to McDonalds. This insidious propaganda needs to be exposed to give parents the strength to resist their moaning kid's demands.


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alien_oddity
alien_oddity

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Posted:ubblol i saw a wicked little stencil sprayed on a wall lastnight (couldn't get any pictures) it was the Mcdonnalds golden "M" with the prohibited circle around it (like a no smoking sign) with " KIDS JUST SAY NO"



underneath, if i have a camera next time i pass it i'll get some photo's



i've not eaten a Mc donnalds anything for about 3 years and after watching supersized me..................and how addicted to the sugar and other crap they shove in the food i don't think i'll be spending my money there


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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted:Funnily enough I hadn't fast food in a long while before watching Super-Size Me but after watching it I started getting cravings...



Same with Anti-smoking ads... I fee strangely compelled to light up when I see one....



I need help...



Just so you know I haven't given in (except maybe a breakfast when there was nothing else) and I haven't bought an actual meal there for years...


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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jo_rhymes
jo_rhymes

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Posted:icklematt, it's gross how the huge corporations depend on pester power to sell their so-called "food".

When I was younger my dad would say "let's go to mcdonalds for a treat!" and my brothers, my mum and I would all protest as when we'd gone a couple of times before we'd all hated the food and felt sick!

I havent eaten at a Mcdonalds for goodness knows how long, definitely over 15 years or more though!

there are much better ways to treat kids, treating them with food in the first place is teaching them to comfort eat and giving them an unhealthy relationship with food, but treating them with fast food is just plain wrong. "you've been good today kids. Here, have a heart attack in a few years!"


Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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alien_oddity
alien_oddity

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Posted:ubblol @ jo


personally if i'm in norwich and it was a choice between Mc donnald and a heart attack in a bun off the norwich market i know where i'd go ubblol


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ickleMatt
ickleMatt

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Posted:I don't want to preach to the converted: "I haven't eaten McD's for X years." Good as it is to share that we feel the same.

Rather I want to start a debate on:

Is there such a thing as unethical marketing?
What does unethical mean in a context where companies operate to maximise profits?
Is it possible to come to a conclusion of what is, and what isn't, unethical?
If so, what can be done about it?


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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted:I remember seeing in that film 'The Corporation' where toy companies were employing psychologists - not to help in making a better, more educational toy but how to market it more effectively...

Using what they call 'The Nag Factor' - marketing in a way that will encourage their kids to nag their parents more until they cave in. Effectively turning kids into consumers before they can even talk...


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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ickleMatt
ickleMatt

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Posted: Written by: Neon_Shaolin


I remember seeing in that film 'The Corporation' where toy companies were employing psychologists - not to help in making a better, more educational toy but how to market it more effectively...

Using what they call 'The Nag Factor' - marketing in a way that will encourage their kids to nag their parents more until they cave in. Effectively turning kids into consumers before they can even talk...



The science of consumerism! Makes me mad


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TinklePants
TinklePants

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Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2005
Total posts: 4217
Posted:The maccy D's in inverness fired all its cooking staff as some staff members and customers were complaining about the old "spit-in-the-burger" trick. not only were they doing that, but its rumoured that ejaculate was also found hiding beneath the bun, atop the lettuce.

I've not been there for two years, and even at that time, i only bought a McFlurry. I'm never going there again, thts for sure!


Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted:Good Job... I'm sure they can hide the 'fluids' better in the icecream....

"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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icklepurklegirl
icklepurklegirl

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Location: manchester, uk
Member Since: 29th Oct 2005
Total posts: 116
Posted:Is there such a thing as unethical marketing?

What does unethical mean in a context where companies operate to maximise profits?

Is it possible to come to a conclusion of what is, and what isn't, unethical?

If so, what can be done about it? /quote



all marketing is unethical...anything that manipulates human thought for no reason other than profit is unethical. but psychologically interesting. free thought is a basic human right in my opinion

I don't include in this charity promotions as they don't count as 'marketing' as they are not 'selling' a product. But then, they are emotionally manipulative, so does that make them unethical also?



what can be done about it?protest, write to parliament etc expressing a view that marketing should have stricter limits, e.g. fast food ads only after the watershed, segragating advertising so the unsuspecting passer by doesn't have to view it.

EDITED_BY: icklepurklegirl (1149243347)


-spinnin' to the rhythm of the new world order-

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icklepurklegirl
icklepurklegirl

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Location: manchester, uk
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Posted:oh, and ravehead....try the chinese food stall ifits still there...best chinese in norwich!

-spinnin' to the rhythm of the new world order-

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Seye
Seye

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Location: Manchester, UK
Member Since: 27th Mar 2005
Total posts: 1261
Posted:'Marketting' (as opposed to making people aware of products) is unethical at its root.
Its sole aim is to make people think that they need / want something that they dont.

If you think supersize me was bad read Fast Food Nation. I'm sure a lot of people already have.

Dave - 'The Corporation' is both disturbing and heartwarming at the same time (the villagers taking back their water supply is an awesome moment). Have you read No Logo by Naomi Klein? Its a bit old (2001 I think) but it still makes a lot of relevant points about how companies have moved from production to branding as thier main purpose.


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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted:No I haven't Seye and I think it'll depress the hell out of me...
When I was watching 'The Corporation' I felt sick and almost suicidal about the world I am living in...

Made me sick how companies have exploited a charter to give their corporation the same legal rights as a person. A charter that was originally created to give rights to the recently freed slaves in america...

Made me sick that companies now have the right to patent life itself...

Made me sick that even if the CEO of corporations were ethical, nice guys, the corporation they work for renders their altruism rather impotent...


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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ickleMatt
ickleMatt

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Posted:Icklepurklegirl and Seye:

Are you saying that advertisment should only detail product specifications?
Do you think that adverts can have any artistic value?
This was how marketing was conducted before - do you see no value in the evolution to what it is now?
How would people be able to decide between two similar products?
How can you diferentiate between marketing of a computer, a pension and the opportunity to support a charity? They are all based on the same marketing principles.
What I'm worried is that without marketing the world would be a dry, dull place where everything is utilitarian.


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ickleMatt
ickleMatt

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Posted:BTW I read noLogo which I thought was a fantastic book. And rather against marketing, I read it as a argument to use marketing against those companies that are saying one thing and doing another.

Democratise marketing. Everyone can use it.


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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted:But not everyone has millions of $$$$ to make their marketing more effective - in both quality of advert and buying timelots/billboard space/web banners etc...

"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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icklepurklegirl
icklepurklegirl

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Posted:I'm saying there should be no marketing at all....prices would reduce, as most products would become essentially similar e.g. bleach is bleach is bleach, really...

i see value in the evolution...some adverts are genuinely clever, funny or have artistic merit...but i feel uncomfortable with the fact that those people who are more easily persuadable are losing the 'think for youself' mentality that i treasure.

and the charity one befuddles me....i think presenting an option for someone to support a charity is very different from the emotive 'look at the dying kids' stuff on tv...but then its the only way for them to get people to fund them sometimes, people only respond when emotionally stirred. The difference between charity ads and an add for, say, microsoft, is, they serve an ethical purpose and the other is just funding a billionaires enterprise....but then that depends in whether you belive the charity in question is an ethical one...or whther you think people need exposing to products to give them freedom of choice

eeep, minefield...


-spinnin' to the rhythm of the new world order-

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Hanz
Hanz

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Location: Bendigo, Vic, Australia
Member Since: 7th Jun 2004
Total posts: 1328
Posted:Back to marketing fastfood to kids... apparently Disney now refuse to have their product in a Happy Meal because of kids wanting the toy so they want McDonalds

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simian
simian

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Posted: Written by: Neon Shaolin

But not everyone has millions of $$$$ to make their marketing more effective - in both quality of advert and buying timelots/billboard space/web banners etc...



Which is why no logo recommends taking the adverts that the companies have spent $$$$ on, and subverting them

devil



anyhoo, on the topic of MaccyDees marketing to the kids...



when was the last time you saw the clown? He seems to have taken a back seat since super size me, in favour of really annoying urban jingles.



or is that just in the UK?

EDITED_BY: simian (1149245042)


"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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Hanz
Hanz

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Posted:we see Ronald McDonald on the ads for kids "we do the ron ron" but haven't see Grimace, Birdie, Hamburglar or the weird alien lookings guys since I was a kid (used to have a McDonalds book)

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Birgit
Birgit

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Posted:Fair enough, McDonalds marketing is bad. They even target sick kids in hospitals.

But in the end, the final say at the age where kids can be influenced for the rest of their lives is with the parents. So maybe it's time to target them more to not only stop buying their kids crap food, but also to stop eating it when their kids watch.

I get sick of all the "no fizzy drinks in schools" and "less fast food in schools", when in the end all that happens is the kids go home to parents that can't be arsed to cook but put on a microwave dinner or order a pizza anyways. Sure, at least they get some vitamins in school instead, but seeing the amounts of ready meals and stuff the average supermarket sells, and how little fresh food there is, I don't think McDonalds marketing makes that much of a difference.

It's just another try to push the responsibility off ourselves to organisations. Make supermarkets put weightwatchers points on the food, great. Ban king-sized chocolate bars, wonderful. Go and make a movie where you deliberately answer "yes" every time someone asks you if you'd like more unhealthy food, and point out that lots and lots of only unhealthy food will make you unhealthy - how ingenious. It's like willingly overdosing on over-the counter medicines and then make a movie stating that 100 paracetamol aren't exactly healthy.

With the amount of information freely available to everyone, it's time people accept some responsibility for themselves and especially their children. Leaving them to society and trusting marketing to "decide" what's healthy for them is stupid, they are the most precious thing to put at risk. And even if it's a bit harder work to look after them and their food, it's just so cheap to chicken out and then say "but McDonalds gave them a flyer on the playground".

Grrrrr.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted: Written by: simian



when was the last time you saw the clown? He seems to have taken a back seat since super size me, in favour of really annoying urban jingles.

or is that just in the UK?



I think that has something to do with the fact that a man who was employed as a Ronald McDonald was convicted for child molestation...

Re: subverting Corporate Logos - I agree but I'm kinda sad that its effectiveness hasn't really extended beyond witty t-shirts....

Although I am now completed to actually get around to reading it. Thanks guys...

Now with the subject of marketing Fast Food I think it should go the way of Tobacco advertising. If governments are SERIOUS about combatting obesity and other health issues related to fast food then all fast food should be advertised with health warnings.

Grown ups who smoke know the risks and do so out of personal choice. The same should be applied to food which is available without an age limit...


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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ickleMatt
ickleMatt

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Posted:Yes it is a minefield.

Especially when you start talking about "people who are more easily persuadable"... this in its self is an ethical minefield. WHo are these people? Care to identify them? Who is to say that they need nannying?

In the charity world:

I have worked as a streetfundraiser - and I was a walking talking advert for the chairty. It was an interesting experience

We see people demanding that they work better so they professionalise and work more efficiently. Professionalism means that they should maximise their 'income', to maximise income they use marketing to promote their cause. In this context we find charities competing against each other for the donation in our pocket. And remember WE are demanding this!

I agree with "a bleach, is a bleach, is a bleach". Except of cause when you might want to spend a little bit money on a bleach that smells a bit nicer, or is better for the environment, or has a bottle that looks nice in your bathroom. How will our products improve without continual product evolution based on trying to find a new market? Bleach is good, but I'm sure it could get better.


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ickleMatt
ickleMatt

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Posted: Written by: Birgit


Grrrrr.



Don't get angry, get even.
Any idea of how to push this agenda?


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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted:Birgit - it is also very easy to lay the blame on the parents for allowing the kids to eat McDs. But you have to consider how much of a job to say 'No' to kids who are constantly bombarded with adverts tempting them like the Piped Piper making McDs appear to be the Holy Grail of food. At that age, kids are very instinctual and food would be a bigger deal to them than ethics.



Being denied McDs or the toy they saw on TV would to them be the equivelant of psychological abuse denying them water or freedom and no parent wants to put their child through that.



Add that to the fact that parents aren't FULLY aware of how damaging the food can be - aside from the fat, they tend to be ignorant of the psychological effects of sugar and caffine addiction, the fatal properties of hydrogenated fats. They will think it's 'bad but okay once in a while'. If the parents were more fully informed like we are only starting to be now then yes maybe the parents CAN do more and are willing to do more to say NO to the kids and be able to justify why...


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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Seye
Seye

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Location: Manchester, UK
Member Since: 27th Mar 2005
Total posts: 1261
Posted:For me there is a huge difference between advertising and marketting.

Advertising is the act of informing consumers about a product. This can be done in an acceptable and atristic manner. I love the fact that billboards can now be a site for publically viewable art. The same goes for TV adverts.

Marketting is a different beast altogether. This is the act of duping people into believeing that they need something through psychology. Nike and McDonalds probably being the most obvious culprits of this. "look at how happy you can be if you eat Mcdonalds" or "you can play better if you wear Nike". Neither of these statements are necessarily true but there are many people who believe it due to their aggressive marketting policies.


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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted:Exactly - kids are more likely to listen to the TV than their parents...

How can parent's compete? Probably as simple as not letting kids watch TV...


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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ickleMatt
ickleMatt

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Posted:Advertising merely a tool of marketing and can not be separtated from it.

What you're conplaining about is lifestyle marketing, and is based on aspirations. This is why Nike sells so well in poor black neighbourhoods in US cities. You could argue that this is unethical.

Apple are also great on lifestyle marketing. Can you argue that this is unethical? Most people who aspire to buy Apple can afford it, and why shouldn't they buy them?

Where is the boundary of what is ethical and what isn't? And how are you going to stop one company from marketing and not the other?


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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted:Oooh Apple...



The people who sell iPods as fashion accessories rather than the quality of the product itself (which judging by the number of complaints in the news and in the 'IPOD/MP3 Woes' is almost secondary to the design).



This is evident in the MANY MANY people I see walking around with the iPod in the hand not actually selecting the tracks, just holding it there for everyone - including potential muggers - to see. So powerful is the cool iconography of the white box and headphones that no matter if the quality of another MP3 player supercedes the iPod there will still be a nagging feeling in the back of the consumer's head that it's JUST NOT IPOD...


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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ickleMatt
ickleMatt

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Posted:oops shouldn't have mentioned the A word!

(Apple is much more than the bloomin iPod! btw I'm very happy with mine)


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