JUNK FOOD ADVERTISED INSIDIOUSLY
The screen-grab above (click to enlarge) is from the MathsOnline site which now offers free maths tutoring to any students wishing to participate. Prior to McDonald's sponsorship the service cost users $40 a month.
That the site twice says "McDonald's" and features a small McDonald's logo has do-gooders up in arms:
Sharon Johnson from the Parents and Citizens Federation of NSW says the Federal Government's endorsement lends the McDonald's initiative credibility, and that could be open to abuse.Now if Durex had sponsored the site everything would be hunky dory.
"We definitely don't want our children being soft targets of what would be a really successful marketing campaign," she said.
"The Happy Meal and the Quarter-Pounder Meal add up to a really great opportunity for McDonald's to get some exposure online by saying that they're offering students an educational experience."
Nutritionist Rosemary Stanton sees the McDonald's branding of the website as a form of backdoor advertising.
"If this didn't work to encourage children to have more of the product, I think that ... it's a fair bet that the company wouldn't be doing it," she said.
"The food industry realises that sooner or later junk food advertising to children is going to stop, so they're looking at other ways to make sure that their name is constantly before the children's' eyes and ears, and this is a very insidious way of getting to them."