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San Fran Toy Ban
November 4, 2010

Hello Readers!  Well… former readers… since I haven’t really been writing.  My sincere apologies, as I’m sure there has been an empty space in your heart since my last post.  ;-)

But, alas, things are finally balancing out and leaving me enough time to get to share some of the Promo World with you!

Big news out of San Fransisco earlier this week, when the Board of Supervisors voted to ban toys from unhealthy fast food kid’s meals.  Read the story here.

Big win for our overweight kids, or big loss for fast-food restaurants?

Personally, I can’t imagine getting a Happy Meal without a toy.  Isn’t that the happiest part?  Unless of course, it’s some stupid matchbox car or something.  Boys are so gross.


No Matchbox!
Maybe if it was pink…


I mean, in my day, they didn’t even have a choice of a “girl” toy or a “boy” toy.  They just had toys, and you got it, and you were happy with it because you got to go to MCDONALD’S!!!!!  Actually, back in my day we had birthday parties where we stacked Styrofoam Big Mac boxes to see who could make the highest stack. I guess we learned a lot in the last 20 years…

So here’s my opinion: Do we really think that kids are so enticed by awesome toys and odd clowns and purple blobs (what is Grimmace anyway?!) that they would eat food that is bad for them over healthy alternatives with slim to zero marketing tricks and that tastes like vegetables?  YES! Yes we do.

But kids like lots of things that aren’t good for them, and quite frankly,they aren’t the ones buying the Happy Meals. How many 5-year-olds do you know with a debit card and a sweet SUV to carry around all those plastic Barbie Dolls? Zero.

It’s the parents’ hard earned cash that is paying for all those Happy Meals, so I guess I’m just not really sure how taking the toy out is going to help motivate change? Unless, maybe, the San Fransisco Board figures kids will beg and beg to eat arugula salad because it comes with a My Little Pony figurine. Personally, my 5-year-old self would prefer the cheeseburger and no toy. Actually… my almost-30-year-old self would prefer that as well…

Carrot Man
It’s just not the same…


(Darnit… Maybe I just proved the point…. )

What do you think? Should the government be dictating how businesses market their product, whether to kids or adults? What about the other players here… the toy manufacturers (okay, they are probably in China, but still…), the distributors (like us!), the franchise businesses owners, parents, children, etc?  Weigh in below!