The Happy Meals toys are staying, according to a letter McDonald’s brass delivered Wednesday to a health watchdog group that criticized the popular kids’ meals and how they are marketed.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest last month threatened a lawsuit against the fast-food giant to get it to dump the toys that accompany Happy Meals.
Forget it, McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner said, defending Happy Meals in the written response sent to the Washington, D.C.-based group.
The letter is here, and is well worth your time to peruse. A sample paragraph:
We have a long history of working with responsible NGOs who are interested in serious dialogue and meaningful engagement; and we are open to constructive feedback. You say you want a dialogue with McDonald’s, but your tactics and inflammatory rhetoric suggest otherwise. CSPI’s twisted characterization of McDonald’s as “the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children” is an insult to every one of our franchisees and employees around the world. When CSPI refers to America’s children as “an unpaid drone army,” you similarly denigrate parents and families, because they are fully capable of making their own decisions. You should apologize.
I may have mentioned that I spent seven years as a spatula serf for the Scotsman, back in my high school/college days; and I retain some interest (both personal, and as a minor shareholder) in the company’s doings since then. So let me tell you this, and I tell you true: if the CEO is making statements that are this plain and blunt then he’s been assured by some of the best corporate lawyers on the planet that any lawsuit that results will rapidly resemble the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, with CSPI playing the part of the Japanese. Mickey Dee’s isn’t as litigation-happy as some, but the above is a serious indicator that this time they’re prepared to make an exception…