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I’m always up for a day of action, especially when the target (McDonald’s) uses marketing purposely designed to get kids to nag parents to death. And that marketing is everywhere: on TV, in movies, on computer games and websites, on children’s products, even in school.

“Pester power” or “the nag factor” is how marketers describe children’s ability to wear down “gatekeepers” (yes, that’s what McD’s actually calls parents). Here’s Lucy Hughes, co-author of the study behind the “pester power” concept: “If we could develop a creative commercial (that) encourages the child to whine, or show some sort of importance in (the ad) that the child understands and is able to reiterate to the parents, then we’re successful.”

Sinister much?

The info above is excerpted from a blog post I wrote in 2010 about McDonald’s insidious marketing tactics. And they haven’t changed since. That post, and several others about McDonald’s marketing, can be found here:

Retire Ronald? Or reclaim responsibility?
Parenting amid predatory marketing. And why McDonald’s should be held more accountable than most.

Forget Happy Meal Toys. Let’s ban McEducation.
McDonald’s holds nutrition workshops for grade-schoolers. Really.

This just in: Fast food is unhealthy
Shocking (not) findings about the nutritional value of kids’ fast-food meals.

More McDonald’s madness
McDonald’s advises British food policy. McTeacher’s Nights drum up PR and indoctrination. And why government involvement in food isn’t automatically bad.

Daily (Show) dose of funny. With fries.
Jon Stewart pokes fun at those of us who think food companies ought to lay off our kids. And at McDonald’s, too. Features the Crappy Meal adorned with the Periodic Table of Elements.

Thanks to Corporate Accountability International for organizing today’s #MomsNotLovinIt Day of Action, timed, appropriately, with Mother’s Day.

It doesn’t matter whether you eat McDonald’s or not. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a master at saying no. It doesn’t matter if your kids never watch TV or use a computer. What matters is that corporations need to back off our kids. Tell the creepy clown #MomsNotLovinIt.

And if you want to get even more fired up about how corporations market to our kids, watch this video from Anna Lappe of Food MythBusters:


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