McD’s Drops Ads From Report Cards

NEW YORK A month after catching heat for advertising on children’s report cards in Seminole County, Fla., McDonald’s has opted to remove its marketing messages.

As part of a joint business partnership with the School Board of Seminole County, McDonald’s offered students free food prizes for good grades. The offer, announced in conjunction with a smiling picture of Ronald McDonald printed on report card envelopes, was valid for kindergartners through fifth graders.

One mom, Susan Pagan, was disturbed by the promotion and contacted the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. The CCFC complained to the district and press and the promotion was scrapped.

“I’m amazed we got all this public attention,’ said Pagan. “I’m thankful that it was changed.”

The Seminole County district previously had a 10-year partnership with Pizza Hut. McDonald’s took the chain’s place for the 2007-08 school year. Under the terms of the deal, McDonald’s paid $1,600 for the printing costs associated with producing report cards for 27,000 students.

It will continue to do so; however, new envelopes will instead bear the letter “S” for Seminole County. “It’s really a great day for the children and parents of Seminole County,” said Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. “It shows that working together we can get even mega companies like McDonald’s to curb their advertising.”