Woods Professor Jones English 105 2 November 2009 McDonald’s Advertisement McDonald’s has spent over two billion dollars each year on advertising. The Golden Arches are now more recognized than the Christian Cross. McDonald’s uses collectable toys, television adverts, and promotional schemes in schools and figures such as Ronald McDonald to bombard their main target group: children. Many parents object strongly to the influence this has over their own children. Yet, McDonald’s argue that their advertising is no worse than anyone else’s and that they adhere to all the advertising codes in each country.
In this paper, I will discuss McDonald’s advertising and how it the affects our children. (http://www. mcspotlight. org/issues/advertising/index. html) Researchers at Stanford University found that children as young as three years old responded to the fast food chain’s familiar logo and packaging, saying that they preferred the taste of food coming out of McDonald’s bags to the taste of the same food items emerging from plain paper bags. Scientists studied 63 low-income children enrolled in Head Start centers in California. The kids ranged in age from 3 years to 5 years.
The children participate in more than 104 taste tests with some of McDonald’s most popular items including a hamburger, French fries and chicken nuggets. On average, 48% of the kids said they preferred the taste of the McDonald’s labeled hamburger, compared with 37% who preferred the unmarked burger; 59% liked the McDonald’s branded chicken nuggets compared with 18% for the unbranded nuggets, and 77% said the French fries in the bag stamped with the McDonald’s arches and a smile tasted better than the fries from a plain white bag. http://www. cbsnews. com/stories/2007/08/06/health/webmd/main3139085. shtml) Parents and child advocacy groups have long maintained that advertising targeted to children can be harmful, since young minds are not able to distinguish truth from advertising. Stanford Researchers stated, “Children by age two can already form beliefs about brands, and advertising during children’s television programming, or through other media accessed by youngsters, which further solidifies their ability to distinguish brand names, logos and packaging. Not surprisingly, in the Stanford study, kids with more access to television in their homes, and those who owned more toys from McDonald’s were more likely to say the branded foods were tastier. Dr. Thomas Robinson, an associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford University stated, “Children under the age of seven or eight really do not have the ability to understand the persuasive intent of advertising and marketing. ” “Therefore, the justification for marketing, which is to inform a consumer, doesn’t really hold for kids, because they can’t understand that advertising is biased. A spokesman from McDonald’s named Walt Ricker responded to the study saying, “The fast food chain “is only advertising Happy Meals with white meat McNuggets, fresh apple slices and low fat milk,” and that the company’s recent promotion linked to the popular animated movie Shrek was McDonald’s “biggest-ever promotion of fruits, vegetables, and milk. This is another reflection of McDonald’s progressive approach to responsible marketing. ” Dr. Robinson stated, “While it’s commendable, it’s hardly enough. He argues that there should be no advertising at all aimed at children under the age of eight, even if it could be harnessed to teach kids about healthy eating habits. In fact, Robinson’s own study hinted at such a possibility two of the five items the kids tasted were healthy, baby carrots and milk and the children still liked the taste of these items more when they were presented in McDonald’s packaging than when they were offered in unmarked containers.
Dr. Robinson also stated, “If healthful foods still represent the minority of choices available, then McDonald’s will continue to promote the consumption of the junk foods that kids have been eating. ” Dr. Victor Strasburger, professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, stated “Using advertising in a positive way just doesn’t sit right with me. It’s Orwellian.
To put it bluntly, advertising to children under the age of seven or eight is electronic child abuse. I think we ought to leave kids who are under seven or eight out of all advertising. ” In response to the growing obesity problem in the U. S. , companies including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kellogg, and Kraft have created the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative in 2006 to self-regulate the $10 billion worth of food and beverage messages aimed at young children each year.
The initiative pledges to promote healthy lifestyles for youngsters by giving them healthier food and drink choices. Dr. Robins stated, “So far we have seen baby steps toward improving menus,” he says, “but it remains to be seen whether these companies will follow through on their promises. If the fast-food industry were to start including more healthful foods in their menus, so that the majority of the foods were healthful, then they could have a very important effect on improving the diets of children. (http://www. time. com/time/health/article/0,8599,1650268,00. html) In conclusion, although several lawsuits have caused McDonald’s fast food chains to provide more healthy options, they are still more expensive and not very healthy. Fast food chains were designed to be just that, fast. It was also designed to taste good enough to hook you and keep you coming back. Needless to say, while McDonald’s fast food restaurants focus on speed and taste, the customer’s health still gets pushed to the side.
The next time you’re tempted to stop and pick up something fast, think about how much healthier home-cooked meals could be for you and your family. McDonald’s Advertisement [pic] Work Cited 1. 2. 3. This is a very good discussion of the issue of fast food, particularly McDonald’s, and it’s role in the American dietary crisis. However, it doesn’t really discuss a particular ad; the photo you included was just that: a photo. No specific product was highlighted nor was there any real sales copy. Good research, although the Works Cited is not correct. Week Two – Essay One Grading Rubric: Literacy Narrative |Maximum | | |Points | |Paper submitted describes, interprets and analyzes a print ad from a source of student’s choosing; ad is included |30/40 | |as the final page of the essay. Ad is explored and deconstructed for underlying messages. | | |Essay provides a focus, or thesis statement; contains evidence that supports paper’s main point; and at the end, |35/40 | |presents a larger conclusion based on the opening thesis. | |Paper is of assigned length (approximately 1000 words), submitted on time in correct format as either an RTF or |10/10 | |Word attachment with proper vital information on paper as outlined in assignment. | | |All words and ideas from sources external to the writer are accurately documented via MLA standards. No more than |10/10 | |5 total errors in spelling and grammar. | | |Total: |85/100 |