Mom sues McDonald’s because Happy Meals make her feel guilty or something

posted at 6:02 pm on December 16, 2010 by Allahpundit

No, really. That’s the gist of the lawsuit. In fact, after reading the LA Times’s piece on this and the press release from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, it looks like the Happy Meal aspect is basically irrelevant to the case. Granted, they’re ostensibly going after McDonald’s because they’re worried about children’s nutrition, but that’s really just a fig leaf designed to make the suit more sympathetic to health fanatics and overprotective parents. Their real target here, it seems, is advertising aimed at children — not just in the context of unhealthy food or even healthy food, but in any context. Read the CSPI release for yourself; their argument is that young kids aren’t intelligent enough to understand marketing, and “advertising that is not understood to be advertising is inherently deceptive.” Which means, I presume, that virtually every toy commercial ever made should be potentially actionable.

Who knew that when I whined to mom and dad as a kid about “Star Wars” figures, I might have been facilitating a tort?

The lawsuit alleges that “McDonald’s exploits very young California children and harms their health by advertising unhealthy Happy Meals with toys directly to them” and that “children 8 years old and younger do not have the cognitive skills and the developmental maturity to understand the persuasive intent of marketing and advertising.”…

“I don’t think it’s OK to entice children with Happy Meals with the promise of a toy,” Parham said, adding that she tries to hold her daughters, 6 and 2, to monthly visits to the fast-food chain. But she said their requests increased this summer, thanks to the popularity of “Shrek Forever After.” Collecting all of the toys offered in conjunction with the movie would require weekly visits, she said.

“Needless to say, my answer was no,” Parham said. “And as usual, pouting ensued and a little bit of a disagreement between us. This doesn’t stop with one request. It’s truly a litany of requests.”

According to CSPI’s press release, it’s the toy in the Happy Meal, not the food, that’s getting the kids’ attention and putting poor Monet Parham through the terrible ordeal of having to say no to her children. Which raises the question: If it’s nutrition that Parham’s worried about and not having to cope psychologically with the occasional stamping of tiny feet, why not buy ‘em the Happy Meal and throw the food away? Bring some brussels sprouts to McD’s in a baggie and let ‘em dig in while they play with their new Voltron or whatever. Or better yet, why not follow the San Francisco model and just ban Happy Meals coast to coast? That’s what the practical effect of winning this lawsuit would be, after all. This is what I’m all about, my friends — solutions.

Actually, in all fairness, Parham’s probably not afraid to stand up to her kids. Read this Daily News piece and you’ll see that this “ordinary mom” of two is actually a children’s nutrition advocate on California’s state payroll. It’s not her kids who need guidance on healthy eating, it’s yours, and if that means using the courts to try to deny them an occasional treat that they might otherwise enjoy, hey. Click the image below and scroll down to watch her in action.


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CSPI = 2 guys and a fax machine

I seem to remember McDonald’s telling these Food Nazi’s to go pound sand

Kini on December 16, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Their real target here, it seems, is advertising aimed at children — not just in the context of unhealthy food or even healthy food, but in any context. Read the CSPI release for yourself; their argument is that young kids aren’t intelligent enough to understand marketing, and “advertising that is not understood to be advertising is inherently deceptive.” Which means, I presume, that virtually every toy commercial ever made should be potentially actionable.
===========================

This sounds more of Progressive GroupThink Collective of
you haven’t paid Community Organizational BlackMail,as it
seems now with this Administration that in order to do any
business,whether its Environmental or Nutritional,or for that matter,any business dealings period,they have their
Group Rights Advocasy Hand out to shut you up!!

Maybe it would be cheaper,like putting cash in a brown paper back,and have Al Gore drive over to say the Buddhas
as an example,and nevermind calling from the VP Office,
screw that,make a bee-line right to the source!!

A Hell of a way to do business I say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gangster Government!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on December 16, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Liberalism is never having to say NO. The courts will do it for you.

Yoop on December 16, 2010 at 7:11 PM

Yoop:Exactly Yoop,it Extortion no matter how one slices it!:)

canopfor on December 16, 2010 at 7:19 PM

their argument is that young kids aren’t intelligent enough to understand marketing, and “advertising that is not understood to be advertising is inherently deceptive.”

Do these same people complain about teacher’s pushing Obama down kid’s throats?

aikidoka on December 16, 2010 at 7:19 PM

Gangster Government!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on December 16, 2010 at 7:17 PM

These people are convincing government that they cannot parent or make their own decision.

It’s only encouraging them to destroy businesses because some idiot cannot discipline their children, or themselves.

Kini on December 16, 2010 at 7:21 PM

In the Interest of Justice, I just bought a Happy Meal and now I am going to eat it. num num!

And I got a Transformer!

Blake on December 16, 2010 at 7:21 PM

Center for Science in the Public Interest is another leftist activist group.

page 6+7 show financials for 2010.

Lots of money in non-profit agitation eh? But then what would the left be without agitation or tons of money?

Inanemergencydial on December 16, 2010 at 7:22 PM

Hey, if this parent wins a large amount of money, I’d love to see some other parent sue her for making her feel guilty liking Happy Meals for her kids.

JellyToast on December 16, 2010 at 7:25 PM

If she’s too cowardly to refuse her 2 and 6 year old a happy meal now, I’m afraid to see what they’ll get away with when they’re teens. I hope Trojan is ready for a lawsuit.

I have a 2.5 year old and a 4.5 year old. They like McDonald’s as much as the next preschooler, but they have never begged me for a happy meal with enough intensity to make an impression. They ask, I say no if it’s not in the budget. And I tell them that’s why. If they’ve been extra good or I’m feeling extra lazy, I indulge them.

citrus on December 16, 2010 at 7:26 PM

Oh looky….a real life Burgermeister Meisterburger. And just in time for Christmas!

WaltzingMtilda on December 16, 2010 at 7:31 PM

Collecting all of the toys offered in conjunction with the movie would require weekly visits, she said.

Or, you know, eBay.

calbear on December 16, 2010 at 7:34 PM

this is serious kids…. a fine example of eat’n 2 many Happy meals

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMo0WlSvrIY

might be time to have a couple of beers at a happy meal summit

roflmao

donabernathy on December 16, 2010 at 7:36 PM

Don’t know about Happy Meals. I do know that if our immigration laws were enforced today, MacDonald’s would cease to exist tomorrow.

repvoter on December 16, 2010 at 7:37 PM

Collecting all of the toys offered in conjunction with the movie would require weekly visits, she said.

Or, you know, eBay.

calbear on December 16, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Wait… are you telling me that they’re using a movie tie-in as a promotion to get business?

Is there no end to the evils of capitalism?

malclave on December 16, 2010 at 7:39 PM

Don’t know about Happy Meals. I do know that if our immigration laws were enforced today, MacDonald’s would cease to exist tomorrow all fast food workers, at McDonald’s and elsewhere, would be getting paid better.

repvoter on December 16, 2010 at 7:37 PM

FIFY

gryphon202 on December 16, 2010 at 7:45 PM

Say what you will but they do give decent toys. My favorite was the Det. Gadget on the photocell operated motorcycle.

Blake on December 16, 2010 at 7:46 PM

When my son was little, he became convinced that Toys R Us had an electric car for him, and all we had to do was go by and pick it up, it was his. He somehow got the idea from watching a commercial. I explained to him that it didn’t work that way, and he got over it. So I should have sued for that misleading advertising? Parenting is so much easier for libs, you don’t have to teach your kids anything.

mbs on December 16, 2010 at 7:54 PM

Can’ she just not get them happy meals or something?

Noelie on December 16, 2010 at 8:01 PM

Macaroni and cheese and chicken fingers are way worse than one miniature hamburger and kids snarf those down by the truck-load. A Happy meal isn’t going to ruin your kid if you pay attention to their diet the rest of the week. Ridiculous.

Allahs vulva on December 16, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Since she is so inept at parenting she should just give her children to the State to raise and leave the rest of us alone.

chemman on December 16, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Can’ she just not get them happy meals or something?

Noelie on December 16, 2010 at 8:01 PM

RAAAAACIST!!1!1ELEVENTY

RedNewEnglander on December 16, 2010 at 8:37 PM

Question: Does this mean that mom is admitting to abusing her kids? Sounds like the local Child Welfare Office needs to determine somebody’s fitness to raise her children.

eclark1849 on December 16, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Grow up woman.

AshleyTKing on December 16, 2010 at 8:48 PM

McDonald’s needs a Nobel Prize for the Egg McMuffin. It’s the most perfect breakfast package possible.

slickwillie2001 on December 16, 2010 at 8:58 PM

This is a perfect example of why we need “loser pays” tort reform.

Fools need to know that if they file such suits they will be on the hook for price for their foolishness.

RJL on December 16, 2010 at 9:03 PM

McDonald’s needs a Nobel Prize for the Egg McMuffin. It’s the most perfect breakfast package possible.

slickwillie2001 on December 16, 2010 at 8:58 PM

The enormous omelet sandwich at Burger King is bigger and better and probably 3 times as many calories and fat.

slp on December 16, 2010 at 9:27 PM

Oh, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. She can’t tell her 6 year old NO!!!

Maybe she she shouldn’t be a parent!

ladyingray on December 16, 2010 at 9:32 PM

Don’t know about Happy Meals. I do know that if our immigration laws were enforced today, MacDonald’s would cease to exist tomorrow.

repvoter on December 16, 2010 at 7:37 PM

If you are having a problem with your local McDonalds report it. 9 of them around us are owned by the same guy & he won’t employ illegals, but he does a great job giving the local teenagers & retirees a place to work.

batterup on December 16, 2010 at 9:34 PM

Something doesn’t seem quite right, something is missing…..oh I know. Wait for it…..wait…..its coming as sure as the sun rises, the race card hasn’t been played yet, because we all know McDonalds is targeting minority children.

Calling Al Sharpton!

dmann on December 16, 2010 at 9:40 PM

This woman is a freaking Progressive idiot……is it over for this nation?

What next?

PappyD61 on December 16, 2010 at 9:49 PM

Growing up we had two cereals available in the house:

Mom’s raisin bran
Dad’s grape nuts

I always wanted Lucky Charms but I never got it no matter how often I asked.

I eventually stopped asking.

I’m pretty sure that’s because I was lucky enough to have adults as parents.

JadeNYU on December 16, 2010 at 11:12 PM

Don’t know about Happy Meals. I do know that if our immigration laws were enforced today, MacDonald’s would cease to exist tomorrow.

repvoter

MacDonald’s might be in trouble, but McDonald’s would be just fine.

xblade on December 16, 2010 at 11:59 PM

If liberals had their way we would all be eating tofu and arugula and anyone who was overweight would be shipped off to a concentration..err, fat camp. (Except for the elite of course, who could do anything they wanted).

tbear44 on December 17, 2010 at 12:38 AM

And if they lose, what happens? I suspect this is a stupid move for their side on this First Amendment issue.

{^_^}

herself on December 17, 2010 at 4:07 AM

This won’t get past an initial motion to dismiss (the legal equivalent of first base)

tommyboy on December 17, 2010 at 6:45 AM

Actually, in all fairness, Parham’s probably not afraid to stand up to her kids.

Why would you assume that? The fact that Monet Parham-Hyphen is unemployable outside government would be my first clue that she is unable to feed her own kids. I don’t see a baby daddy in this story that is professing to have these advanced parenting skills, either. Maybe if Daddy contributed something to this “family” other than this dingbat’s hyphen, we wouldn’t need the state of California suing McDonalds?

MNHawk on December 17, 2010 at 7:40 AM

Monet Parham sounds like yet another media hog-wannabe who wants her 15 minutes of fame and damn it, she wants it now! So she says she is bulied and cajoled by her 6 and 7 year old into taking them to McDonald’s all the time? Has she ever heard of this unique concept known as saying “No”?
I think she would be amazed how well it works.

But this is also another case where the junk science fringe wacko bunch known as The Center For Science In The Public Interest is employing the same classic extermist tactics that are also used by other fringy groups like PETA, namely file class action lawsuits against major corporations that are pretty much doomed to fail in court.

Except this time, CFSITPI found some lady with issues who they use as a springboard to get their latest loopy lawsuit in the news.

That is the only reason why this story is getting the media exposure that it is. Just another case of wacky loons trying to impose their equally wacky POV on others.

pilamaye on December 17, 2010 at 8:44 AM

Yet another helpless victim who needs her nanny (government) to bail her out. “I would like to buy you a Happy Meal kids, but Big Brother says it’s bad for you!”

pgrossjr on December 17, 2010 at 9:49 AM

The last time I checked 2 and 6 year olds weren’t driving themselves to McD. All commercials entice children to by their product. Next they are going to be sue to take advertising of toys off. If her 6 year old is anything like mine, she wants EVERYTHING she sees on the tv.

Using your kids as a scapegoat is really pathetic. I believe the commercials are a “teachable” moment. Stop taking them away!

TturnP on December 17, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Frivolous lawsuit. Isn’t there something about penalties and bar discipline connected to this sort of behavior?

Mason on December 17, 2010 at 11:31 AM

It’s idiocy like this that proves we need “loser pays” tort reform in order to protect businesses and medical professionals. This is about as frivolous as it gets. And it’s costing our economy enormous sums, all passed on down to consumers, to protect themselves from these leeches.

Murf76 on December 17, 2010 at 11:52 AM

“children 8 years old and younger do not have the cognitive skills and the developmental maturity to understand the persuasive intent of marketing and advertising.”

-
So is mom going to sure Mattel next? Disney? Please weak willed people… don’t have any more children than you are capable of being a PARENT to.
-

RalphyBoy on December 17, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Just dont “include” the toy with the meal. Just sell it separate, you can already buy the toy alone without the meal.

Greed on December 17, 2010 at 12:52 PM

their argument is that young kids aren’t intelligent enough to understand marketing

Your honor I submit the 2008 election results as Exhibit A.

With this in mind let’s raise the voting age t0 30.

burnitup on December 17, 2010 at 2:02 PM

I think I am going to start buying Happy Meals just because….

Bruce Hendrix on December 17, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Odd.

It seems like most people here are missing the God Damned Obvious.

this “ordinary mom” of two is actually a children’s nutrition advocate on California’s state payroll.

This is pretty damned clearly a state agency trying to use the courts to legislate. Not like it’s the first time, nor will it be the last.

The left is always pretending to be something they’re not, it’s practically a daily occurrence, from concern trolls to lying politicians to fake protesters… it’s because They Lie About Everything.

And this is just a backdoor attempt at regulation with a dash of self-righteous hypocrisy and a dollop of rent-seeking.

After all, can you imagine such a case resulting in more power for state “nutritional advocates?” Surely not!

This is Leftist Power Grab Scam #13,284. Don’t laugh and keep walking, you won’t even see #13,285.

Merovign on December 17, 2010 at 2:15 PM

When we hauled our crying kids out of one store or another because we said no to something they shouldn’t have or we couldn’t afford, it never occured to us that it was Evil Advertisers fault.

We thought it was a stage that all kids go through and that if we didn’t give in their every whim, eventually they would grow out of desperately wanting everything they saw on T.V. Sort of like you have teach babies not to grab breakables and after a while they understand “don’t touch”.

If only I had known we had grounds to sue, we could have earned enough to buy our little darlings all the crap they thought they wanted and never had to teach them a thing.

I am sure they would have known to Just Say No to Sub-Prime Loans without our help.

Lily on December 17, 2010 at 3:23 PM

“Needless to say, my answer was no,” Parham said. “And as usual, pouting ensued and a little bit of a disagreement between us. This doesn’t stop with one request. It’s truly a litany of requests.”

Well, this poor woman clearly has a crises on her hands. Dealing with pouting children, and disharmony in family. She clearly needs relief from the courts. I’m speechless.
So I’ll just quote a well known actor from the 40s and 50s: What… A… Maroon.

abcurtis on December 17, 2010 at 6:10 PM

You know, she looks to me like SHE should have skipped a Happy Meal or two. Or three.

abcurtis on December 17, 2010 at 6:11 PM

their argument is that young kids aren’t intelligent enough to understand marketing, and “advertising that is not understood to be advertising is inherently deceptive.”

No, but adults are. That’s why they are called adults and are usually in charge.

abcurtis on December 17, 2010 at 6:12 PM

Don’t know about Happy Meals. I do know that if our immigration laws were enforced today, MacDonald’s would cease to exist tomorrow.

repvoter on December 16, 2010 at 7:37 PM

I’m laffin’ here :). And every convenience store in the country would close too.

abcurtis on December 17, 2010 at 6:14 PM

No, but adults are. That’s why they are called adults and are usually in charge.

abcurtis on December 17, 2010 at 6:12 PM

Usually, but this is the Age of Obama!

malclave on December 17, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Great ! Another thing to be so f**king proud of here !

cableguy615 on December 17, 2010 at 7:29 PM

This woman is evil.

proconstitution on December 17, 2010 at 7:56 PM

Don’t know about Happy Meals. I do know that if our immigration laws were enforced today, MacDonald’s would cease to exist tomorrow.

So THAT’S what they put in the burgers.

R. Waher on December 19, 2010 at 4:57 AM

Reckon she is an Odumbo supporter? Probably, especially since she is a California government leech.

ultracon on December 20, 2010 at 5:52 PM

Comment pages: 1 2