Friday Worst: McDonald's Stoops to New Low With Report Card Advertising
December 6, 2007: Hey kids! Guess what? If you study hard and get good grades, guess what you'll get? No, not a college scholarship, sillys. That would be too boring. No, if you get good grades on your report card, you'll get a Happy Meal coupon on the card that you can use to get fat...uh...have a free lunch.
Yea, people, you read that right. In-school advertising's idiocy has spread to report cards. Yes, report cards. For covering the paltry $1,600 printing cost of Seminole County Florida's 2007-2008 report cards, McDonald's was able to place the coupon on the report cards of kids who received all A's and B's. Yes, you also read that right. Only smart kids are allowed to get fat.
It's not the first time a marketer has done something like this and it won't be the last. Our view? Let kids live at least a tiny part of their lives unfettered by the not so morally forthright influence of marketers who, while they say they're all about education and health, really just care about whether or not you slap down some cash on the counter.
With girls dressing like thong-clad porn stars by age 12 and boys emulating "we cool 'cause we got gold teeth, drink Crystal and fuck hoes all day" rappers, we should really do all we can to shelter kids from the idiocy we have to deal with as adults. Yes, yes, yes, we have to prepare children for the real world and a Happy Meal now and then isn't going to turn a kid into an overweight serial killer but really. Ads on reports cards? That's just crossing some kind of line that shouldn't be crossed. Call us high and mighty but there are some things in this world that should never ever be commercialized. School report cards are one of them.
If parents want to reward their kids for getting good grades, they are intelligent enough to determine what kind of reward, if any, is appropriate. They don't need any help from a marketer that just wants a wider audience to further fatten its bottom line.