McDonald's: Happy Meal Lawsuit Should Be Dismissed Because Parents Can Always Tell Kids "No"

Last December, a California woman — along with the Center for Science in the Public Interest — filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s, alleging the fast food giant violates state laws by using toys to advertise Happy Meals directly to children. Yesterday, lawyers for the Golden Arches filed a motion to have the case dismissed because the company shouldn’t be held responsible for parents who can’t say no to their kids.

The plaintiff in the case filed the lawsuit after noticing how her kids’ demand for McDonald’s spiked when the restaurant chain offered Shrek-themed prizes in Happy Meals. “[C]hildren 8 years old and younger do not have the cognitive skills and the developmental maturity to understand the persuasive intent of marketing and advertising,” her lawyers wrote in the original filing.

But the defendant now counters that the mom “was not misled by any advertising, nor did she rely on any information from McDonald’s.”

McD’s added that allowing the lawsuit to move forward would be a step down a grease-slicked slippery slope. “In short, advertising to children any product that a child asks for but the parent does not want to buy would constitute an unfair trade practice.”

McDonald’s grimaces at Happy Meal lawsuit [Reuters]