Not so happy
Yes, this really happened: A father sued McDonald’s for marketing Happy Meals to children. You know, Happy Meals that are basically synonymous with kids’ meals. It is a little more complicated than that—but not much. Antonio Bramante, a resident of Quebec, was a regular at McDonald’s, usually bringing at least one of his young children with him on his visits. His complaint? The Happy Meal advertisements were deliberately situated right at children’s eye level, with their collectible toys in full display. So his kids would naturally start begging for a Happy Meal so that they could get a new toy, and Bramante would feel “pressured” to comply—but not by his kids. By McDonald’s. Questionable parenting tactics aside, Canada does have a law prohibiting advertising to children under 13. There are exceptions for store windows, children’s magazines, and advertisements for live kid-oriented shows. Bramante claimed that McDonald’s did not count as one of these exceptions; McDonald’s claimed that it did. A Quebec judge declared the suit valid, but no ruling has been reached yet. Canada might have this advertising rule, but they’re not one of the countries that have banned McDonald’s altogether.