UFC accuses McDonald's of using child influencers

UFC-Que Choisir has filed a complaint against McDonald’s before the Paris Judicial Court for deceptive marketing practices. The consumer association denounces the use in advertisements of child influencers.

UFC-What to Choose announced this October 13 to have filed a complaint before the Paris Court of Justice against the McDonald’s France group for “deceptive commercial practices“. The consumer association has indeed spotted on social networks that the fast food brand had use of child influencers to promote on its products or the values ​​of its company. Yet the EU Pledge, a European self-regulatory initiative, aims to avoid any advertising of food or drink products in programs and media aimed at young children. McDonald’s is also committed to it. But for UFC-Que Choisir, “McDonald’s deviates from this line of conduct on social networks where it discreetly calls on the support of young influencers to encourage their communities made up of children already acquired to consume McDonald’s products using identical scenes “.

On YouTube, for example, we see children unpacking surprise gifts with toys found in Happy Meal menus, other influencers “play at the restaurant at home” … All without mentioning the existence of a partnership, which corresponds to “a deceptive commercial practice punishable” precise in a press release association. She recalls that product placements have been prohibited in television programs intended for children since 2010, but that social networks “are akin to a legal no man’s land which benefits self-regulation”.

For McDonald’s, this is a “abusive complaint, intended for the media, which absolutely does not reflect the nature of [ses] practice”, the ensign told AFP. In April 2021, McDo had specified to the association of consumers “never enter into any partnership with minors aged 17 or under, or [avec] parents exclusively highlighting their children on their channel“. The group also specifies having” proposed several times exchanges to answer all the questions of the association of consumers “, but without success.

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