Health advocates are setting their outrage phasers on kill over a McDonald’s ad appearing on the report cards of Seminole County, Florida elementary schools. The ad promises free Happy Meals to kids with good grades, despite promises by McDonald’s that they would ” ban advertising to children under 12 or limit them to food and snacks that meet certain nutritional guidelines.”
The Seminole County district said it has created such partnerships for years. Pizza Hut had been a partner for a decade and opted not to participate for the 2007-08 school year. McDonald’s took its place. Under the terms of the deal, McDonald’s fronted the bill ($1,600) for the printing costs associated with produced report cards for 27,000 students.
“McDonald’s has a long-standing and rich heritage of supporting education and academic excellence,” said William Whitman, a rep for McDonald’s USA, Oak Brook, Ill. “McDonald’s does not advertise in schools. However, we continue to support education initiatives in the communities we serve.”
We were able to get cheeseburgers and other various and sundry delights for good grades while growing up in the McD’s homeland, but they never actually printed Ronald McDonald on our report card envelope. We find it hard to get upset about treating kids who have worked hard to a free Happy Meal, but the envelope thing is kinda tacky.