McDonald’s Advertising Awarded ‘Shame’ Awards By Australian Anti-Obesity Parent Organization

Dec 08, 2015 01:24 PM EST | By Victoria Guerra

Barely recovering from a number of terrible numbers in the past few quarters, McDonald's still remains the biggest fast food chain globally, and as such it's often the main subject of anti-obesity wars all over the world - now, due to McDonald's advertising campaigns, an anti-obesity organization has handed them their "shame" award.

Australian anti-obesity group Parents' Voice hosts a yearly show called the Fame and Shame Awards, in which they highlight marketing techniques directed at children so they'll consume unhealthy meals, and since the awards' inception, McDonald's advertising has gotten nominated every single year, winning on this occasion for their "Minions" campaign.

According to The New Daily, McDonald's advertising earned the dubious title of the "worst in the decade" by the parents' association, in a ceremony that took place in Melbourne this Tuesday to award the best and worst efforts towards advertising healthy and unhealthy food to children in Australia.

McDonald's advertising was nominated for a total of three awards this year, winning Pester Power Award for their television campaign of the Minions' Happy Meal as well as the Digital Ninja Award for digital marketing for their Happy Readers campaign, which, as Ad News reports, gave children free books and digital readers when purchasing a Happy Meal, so to collect all 10 books and 16 readers the children would have to eat 23 happy meals in eight weeks.

The fast food chain's Australia franchise responded to winning the award, telling The Huffington Post that McDonald's advertising only promoted "healthier options when advertising Happy Meals," including the chance for children to try out apple slices, grilled chicken wraps and water or low fat milk, saying that "one in every three Happy Meals we now sell includes a healthy option."

"Minions promotion included giving away more than half a million free bananas with Happy Meals, and Happy Readers provided kids with a book rather than a toy as part of their meal," said a spokesperson for the chain, speaking about the McDonald's advertising criticism. "We don't see any problem with promoting reading and the consumption of fresh fruit and neither did the relevant advertising regulators." 

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