Blog: Leonie BarrieClothing on the McDonald’s menu

Leonie Barrie | 14 November 2003

It’s not often that I visit the McDonald’s website – let alone stroll beneath the ‘Golden Arches’ into one of its fast-food outlets – but that was where I found myself today in an attempt to track down more information on the latest item on its menu – a new "McKids" brand that can be licensed by clothing, toy and book companies. Yes, it seems that McDonald’s is no longer content with controlling what children want to eat, but now plans to control how they look as well as what they play with and read.

Perhaps I’m too cynical for my own good, but I’m not completely taken in by the company’s claim that the new initiative is meant to unify all retail licensed products under one brand or “trustmark.” Instead, it looks like a clever way to keep the McDonald’s name at the forefront of kids' minds; a kind of ‘hook them while they’re young, and our future customer base is assured,’ approach.

They’ve even thought of an answer to the healthy lifestyle lobby which has been clamouring for children to eat less fast-food. McDonald’s says it will be launching products such as interactive books and videos that are designed to "get kids on their feet." But what it conveniently forgets to add is that these activities will also help kids build up an appetite - for their next Happy Meal perhaps?

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