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Toys, Fast Food & Advertising Regulations

The city of San Francisco doesn’t want children to get a toy with their meal at a fast food restaurant if they want french fries. However the city would allow them to get a toy if they eat something healthy (within their nutritional guidelines).

This could be just the right thing to save children from a lifetime of diabetes and heart disease, at least in theory. Or this could yet another example of regulators with a lack of marketing knowledge. It just might take the marketing people at McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast food chains at least 15 minutes here or there to come up with marketing ideas to get around the problem.

There are likely to be many problems with this law and even more ways around it. This is sounding a lot like many ethics rules for lawyer advertising.

San Francisco might think they can curtail calories consumed by preteens because their parents don’t want to cook at home, but what will San Francisco do for hungry teenagers?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 20% of children age 12-17 have used marijuana. With the city of San Francisco probably having more medical marijuana providers then anywhere else, I expect that there will be a lot of very hungry teenagers, raiding their parents medical stash, who don’t care about getting a toy.


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