Yes, you read that correctly. When I asked McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) what the caloric content of the books it would be offering to its young customers is, a spokesperson declined to comment. I’ll let you read it into that as you will.
The Happy Meal is one of the most maligned offerings that McDonald’s produces, and its marketing people have been forced under pressure from the “nanny institutes” to make them healthier. In my humble opinion, these groups should be targeting parents rather than children, but as Eisenhower said, and I paraphrase, “When you want to talk to Europe, who do you call?” It’s easier to put the onus on a corporation that has a corporate headquarters and address. As a result? Non-fat milk, apple slices, and smaller portions of french fries.
Happy Meal is often treated like a gateway drug
The Happy Meal is often treated like a gateway drug. I started smoking and never became addicted to heroin; I also had a number of Happy Meals as a kid and have seven percent body fat.
As part of National Family Literacy Day on November 1, McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) will begin offering one of four titles that tell a story about the importance of good nutrition. The books were created by Publicis Groupe’s (PUBGY) Leo Burnett, the ad agency that handles the chain’s family and kids marketing.
McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) describes one of them, The Goat Who Ate Everything, this way: “[It] tells a story of a goat who has a big appetite and struggles to eat right. But when he does, he feels great and becomes the playful ‘kid’ everyone loves.” That’s all well and good, unless of course you hired a herd of goats to clear your land or in order to prevent forest fires, as the California Parks Department does each summer.
McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) expects to distribute 20 million copies of its literary offerings in this two-week campaign. That’s 20 times more than the amount of copies of George Orwell’s 1984 sold on Amazon.com following the Prism leak by Edward Snowden.
McDonald’s first distributed books back in 1988
The first occasion when McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) distributed books was back in 1988, when it handed out a version of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit.
The Goat Who Ate Everything and the three other books will also be on HappyMeal.com. (Spanish-language versions will be available on McDonald’s.com.)