Country Time Says It’ll Cover Legal Fees for Kids Whose Lemonade Stands Get Shut Down

Leo Burnett launches 'Legal Ade' after high-profile news stories

The brand is offering to cover up to $300 in fines and permits for kids whose stands are closed by local governments. Leo Burnett

Country Time Lemonade has a mission this summer: Helping young entrepreneurs who get tangled in red tape by overzealous local governments and grinches.

Seizing on news stories about kids’ lemonade stands getting shut down by city authorities for operating without business licenses, the Kraft Heinz-owned beverage brand is introducing a fresh campaign, amusingly titled “Legal Ade.” Created with Leo Burnett, it invites parents to apply for reimbursement to cover the cost of permits and fines up to $300.

A video summarizing the issue highlights the absurdity of the trend while being sure to point out that it’s quite real. “Around the country, kids are getting busted for running lemonade stands,” says the narrator. “Entrepreneurship, good work habits, good old-fashioned fun—shut down because of old, arcane, but very real laws.”

Naturally, it features cute footage of the harmless victims of such brutish authoritarianism—flanked by a team of fictional legal sharks who will defend their right to play outside and exchange plastic cups filled with sugar water for the stray quarters of benevolent passersby.

It’s a clever way for the brand to capitalize on real events—just over Memorial Day weekend, for example, three brothers ages 2 to 6 and their mother, raising money for charity, were forced to close shop because permitted vendors at the park where they were set up complained to police that the boys were undercutting their prices.

While it’s certainly a first-world problem, that leaves it all the more primed to draw general indignation. And with a relatively low level of incidence—one expert has tracked a mere 30 reported examples (including other types of kid-run concession stands) since 1983—it’s clearly a win-win for Country Time, which gets to celebrate its cornerstone product—and all the wholesome values it wants to represent—without much real financial skin in the game.

In order to apply for Legal Ade, parents have to include descriptions—in their kids’ own words—of what their lemonade stands mean to them. First prize should probably go to the one that reads, simply, “‘Murica.”


Client: Kraft Heinz
Marketing Director: Andrew Louie
Brand Manager: Eric Mills
Senior Marketing Analyst: Dan Lempres

Agency: Leo Burnett
Art Directors: Chris Serrano/Ryan Stotts
Copywriters: Alex Fox/Pete Lefebvre
Creative Directors: Ryan Stotts/Pete Lefebvre
CCO: Britt Nolan
Producer: Natalie Dahl
Head of Production: Veronica Puc
Account Director: Abby Alsop
Group Account Director: Kara Henry
Senior Community Manager: Sean Logan

Production Company: Harbor Pictures
Director: Sara Shelton
DOP: Brian Leisring
Producer: Doug Smith
Editor: Skip Duff

@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.