October 16, 2007
Contact: Josh Golin (617-896-9369;
to McDonald’s: Stop Selling Sex with a Side of Fries (or
BOSTON -- The
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is demanding that
McDonald’s immediately end its highly sexualized
My Scene Barbie
Happy Meal promotion featuring
ludicrously proportioned Barbies with micro miniskirts, halter
tops, and rollerblades.
“It’s bad enough
that McDonald’s continues to use toys to sell kids on junk
food,” said CCFC’s director, Dr. Susan Linn, a psychologist at
Judge Baker Children’s Center. “But to lure young girls
to its restaurants by promoting
the worst sexualized stereotypes is reprehensible.”
Barbie promotion runs through October 28, 2007. McDonald’s is
giving away four scantily clad Barbies and four sets of Barbie
bracelets during the four-week promotion.
“It’s ironic that
McDonald’s is using an impossibly thin doll as an incentive
for girls to visit their restaurants twice-a-week,” said Dr.
Linn. A McDonald’s Happy Meal contains as many as 710
calories and 28 grams of fat.
In response to
concerns about childhood obesity, McDonald’s has moved to
position itself as a socially responsible marketer. In June,
as part of the food industry’s efforts to ward off regulation,
the fast food giant pledged to change its marketing practices
and to produce advertising that includes “healthy lifestyle
messages” for children.
rollerblades on Barbie doesn’t make it healthy messaging,”
said CCFC’s Dr. Diane Levin, professor of education at
Wheelock College and co-author of the forthcoming,
So Sexy So Soon.
“These dolls send a host of harmful messages about play,
appearance, sexuality and what it means to be a young girl."
In an effort to
reposition itself as a family-friendly company, McDonald’s has
enlisted a Global Moms Panel to “provide input and guidance on
a broad range of topics,” including “restaurant communications
and children’s well-being.”
“Parents all over
the world are concerned about the sexualization of little
girls,” said Dr. Linn. “We hope that the Global Mom’s Panel
will consider the well-being of their daughters, and other
people’s daughters, by joining us in urging McDonald’s to end
its exploitative Barbie promotion."