You Better Not Pout, Kids. Ads Are to Blame.


“I turn on the tube and what do I see? A whole lotta people cryin’ ‘don’t blame me.’”

That’s the opening line from the Eagles song “Get Over It.” It’s one of those songs whose lyrics are always apropos. That’s because people always blame someone else for their troubles, and so there always will be the need to tell these same people to “get over it.”

Case in point: Monet Parham, in case you missed the news, is a mother of two from California who, along with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), is suing McDonald’s for deceptive marketing. Per news reports, she feels the fast-food chain bombards kids with “slick advertising” and causes them to “pout” when told they can’t have a Happy Meal.

Yes, pout.

Remember the big stir Charles Barkley caused a while back when he proclaimed, “I am not a role model. Parents should be role models”? The context is different, but the message is worth noting.

“Parents should be role models” are words that Parham and the CSPI should be made to write 500 times on the nearest blackboard, in particular CSPI litigation director Stephen Gardner who proclaimed, “McDonald’s marketing has the effect of conscripting America’s children into an unpaid drone army of word-of-mouth marketers.”

As a parent of a 6-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter, I am completely appalled by that statement. Why not just come out and say that children are merely brainwashed adolescents awaiting their next order from their master, who is obviously not their parent?
In an ironic twist, Parham is a children’s nutrition advocate for the state of California. Her job is to be an advocate for children’s nutrition, i.e., making sure the food they eat is healthy, yet she feels pressured to take her kids to McDonald’s, home of the omnipresent Happy Meal.

In one news report, she was quoted as saying, “I can tell them ‘no’ all day long, but then they see commercials that convince them [they’ve] really got to have this.”

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