Infotech McDonald’s France accused of using child influencers for illegal ads

McDonald’s France accused of using child influencers for illegal ads

Influencers to target children. The consumer association UFC-Que Choisir announced this Wednesday, October 13 that it had filed a complaint against McDonald’s France for “Deceptive marketing practices” : she accuses him of illegally using child influencers for his advertising, which the fast food giant disputes.

The UFC-Que Choisir raises the case of young influencers who promote McDonald’s products on social networks, directly citing the restaurant chain, without mentioning the existence of a commercial partnership, in its complaint filed on Monday.

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The association cites in particular videos where the creators reproduce a McDonald’s restaurant at home “Provided with impeccable packaging stamped McDo”, Where “Surprise packages of which they do not fail to detail the toys to be found in the Happy Meal”.

“However, to conceal the advertising nature of a message, thus letting the community of an influencer believe in disinterested advice, is a deceptive commercial practice punishable”, recalls the association in a press release published Wednesday.

For McDonald’s, this is a “Abusive complaint, intended for the media, which absolutely does not reflect the nature of [ses] practice “, he said in a reaction sent to AFP. The group said it was considering filing a complaint “For malicious prosecution”.

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In a similar case, influencer and reality TV star Nabilla Benattia-Vergara was fined 20,000 euros for promoting stock services on Snapchat, not to mention that she was paid for it.

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“The perfidy of such a lack of transparency increases if the target community is made up of children, less armed than adults in the face of hidden advertising messages”, believes the UFC-What to choose.

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The association also deplores that “Social networks are akin to a legal no man’s land which benefits self-regulation” and pins McDonald’s who «Displays his collaboration at the EU Pledge, a European self-regulation initiative whose participants undertake not to place any advertising for food in programs intended for young children ”, all in “McDonald’s, however, deviates from this line of conduct on social networks.”

Last April, McDonald’s had already assured the association “Never enter into any partnership with minors aged 17 or under, or [avec] parents exclusively highlighting their children on their channel ”.

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The group says they also have “Repeatedly offered exchanges to answer all questions from the consumers’ association”, without success.

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