Legislators Warn On Burger Drive
Boycott urged over McMunch toy campaign

The South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
12th September 1998

by Ruth Mathewson

Legislators have urged McDonald's to drop its month-long burger-a-day marketing campaign or face a boycott. The promotion urges people to buy an "extra value meal" of burger, french fries and soft drink every day for 28 days, in order to collect a series of plastic Snoopy dolls.

But health experts attacked the marketing strategy, saying it encouraged children to put pressure on parents. It could wean children to a dangerous high-fat and high-sugar, they said. [sic]

"I would encourage consumers to boycott this campaign", Frontier legislator Cyd Ho Sau-lan said yesterday. "It would be a good time to boycott McDonald's all through the 28 days.

"As a consumer and mother of a 10-year old boy, I tell him that taking McDonald's for 28 days has nothing to do with the character of Snoopy. I give a cautious reminder to parents, if they succumb to the campaign, to take a reading of their children's body weight now and after the 28 days".

Legislator Emily Lau Waihing called on McDonald's to abandon the promotion which started yesterday. "The thing to do is to talk to McDonald's and impress on them that this is no good for the health of children," Ms Lau said. "If everything else fails, people may want to make their voices heard in a stronger way". McDonald's should act as a responsible member of the community, Ms Lau said. "They should not have such a campaign - getting kids to eath it for weeks running. It's really too much," she said.

Sophie Leung Lau Yaufun of the Liberal Party said parents should guard against "inappropriate" marketing.

McDonald's vice president (marketing and communications) said advertisements showed which Snoopies were available on different days, so people could choose when to buy meals and dolls. "I don't understand what's unfair about it," Mr Weaver said. Advertisements telling people to "try to collect them all, because missing even one makes a very big difference" had been tongue in cheek. "It's a humourous comment. It's a promotion, after all," Mr Weaver said. "I think we're being perfectly responsible".

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