Nothing says "good job" like a heart attack, we always say. So we were thrilled to learn that "last week, students in Seminole County, Florida apparently received their report cards in envelopes adorned with Ronald McDonald promising a free Happy Meal to students with good grades, behavior or attendance." IS NOTHING SACRED?
The district is thrilled with the results of the campaign thus far (McDonald's is paying printing and mailing costs for the cards), and claim to have received only one complaint from a parent. The do-gooders at The Campaign For a Commercial-Free Childhood (probably the successor to the late, lamented "Campaign For Children To Never Go Outside") have complained, but the district plans to continue the promotion through the end of the school year.
Our advertising columnist may be leaving us for the highest, vulgarity-friendly bidder, but we who remain welcome this new development in real-life contextual advertising. The fatter these high achievers get, the better their grades will get, because all the attractive children are clearly experimenting with drugs and sex (or "sports"). And if they want a "healthier" campaign why not contact Evian about a "complete takeover" of all official school materials?
(Full disclosure: Your editor just remembered that when he was a child, he was awarded for reading Boxcar Children books and other assorted questionably-educational material with FREE PERSONAL PAN PIZZAS FROM PIZZA HUT. And it was awesome, except mom never wanted to take him to Pizza Hut and the coupons usually expired.)
McDonald's Ads Hit New Low [Julie's Health Club/Chicago Tribune]