Yesterday, I read in the National Post that a Sacramento mom of two is suing McDonald's for using Happy-Meal toys to "lure" children into their restaurants.
The mom has teamed up with an organization that is connected with the American "food justice" movement called The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to argue that McDonald's is using unfair marketing practices that violate California's consumer protection law.
This lawsuit is part of a bigger movement that's afoot in San Fransisco to ban restaurants from giving out toys with "low-nutrition" kids' meals. Back in November, when I first started following this story I asked my daughter, a McDonald's shareholder, what she thinks about the idea of banning the Happy Meal toy. She said, "Why are they punishing the kids?" Our discussion has since turned to whether or not the proposed ordinance, and now lawsuit, will influence the stock price and punish her as a shareholder, too.
Are MCD Shareholders Being Punished?
One of the first steps I took when introducing my daughter to the idea of "growing your money" was asking her to name her favourite companies. McDonald's, Tim Horton's and The Children's Place were at the top of her list. We took a look at each company's ten-year stock chart and decided, easily, that McDonald's had the best looking one, a steady climb upward, plus they pay a modest dividend.
|MCD 10-Year Share Price - From MSN Money|
However, it's interesting to note that while McDonald's is getting flack from North American consumer groups like the CSPI, the company is expanding rapidly in China and announced on December 15th that the number of restaurants there will double by 2013. It has been fascinating watching this push and pull on the share price and talking about these influences with my daughter, who has decided (rightly, I think) to keep her shares despite the Happy-Meal toy issue.
|McDonald's Commitment to the Well-Being of Their Customers|
And healthy or not, she likes that Mom (from time to time) is an McDonald's consumer. As she told me this morning, "I'm still going to have a Happy Meal even if there's no toy." She does love those fries.
Copyright 2010. Laura Thomas. All Rights Reserved.
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