McDonald's accused of advertising to children in class action suit

Does your son or daughter ever hound you for a happy meal? It might not be their fault.

A class action lawsuit filed right here in Montreal is alleging that McDonald's is manipulating your kids into manipulating you, by advertising the toys that come with the meal.

“No merchant can make commercial advertisement that is directed at children under the age of 13,” said lawyer Joey Zukran, who is representing complainant Antonio Bramante in the suit.

According to the Bramante, McDonald's has been systematically breaking the provision in the Quebec Consumer Protection Act that restricts advertising to kids since 1994.

The suit alleges that when McDonald's displays its toy selection and child eye level, and participates in joint marketing campaigns with blockbuster movies, the restaurant is breaking Quebec law.

“Space in any business location is valuable, and if they dedicate a few meters of their restaurant to market and set up a display, then their goal is clearly to directly incite a child to nag their parents either to buy it, or ask about the happy meal,” Zukran said in an interview with CJAD 800.

The class action suit still requires approval from the courts before it can proceed. McDonald’s is fighting to have it thrown out, saying the suit has no merit.

If approved, Bramante will seek compensation and punitive damages for the plaintiffs, who could be entitled to refunds for past toy purchases, and a portion of happy meal purchases.

Is McDonald's advertising a little too attractive for kids?