The consumer association denounces “hidden advertising messages” on the Internet. According to her, the company notably uses influencers to reach the youngest.
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The UFC-Que Choisir announces Wednesday, October 12 to file a complaint for “deceptive marketing practices” against McDonald’s France, after spotting on social networks, including YouTube, partnerships that do not speak their name with very young influencers. In a statement, the association said that the company “discreetly calls on the support of young influencers to encourage their communities made up of children” to consume McDonald’s products.
The consumer association explains that it has spotted YouTube videos having fun reproducing a McDonald’s restaurant at home, “provided with impeccable packaging stamped McDo”. Other videos feature them unpacking “surprise packages of which they do not fail to detail the toys to find in the Happy Meal”. “All without mentioning the existence of a partnership”, protests the UFC-Que Choisir. “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.”
The UFC Que-Choisir recalls that concealing the advertising nature of a message is a deceptive commercial practice and that since 2010, product placements have been banned in television programs intended for children. On the other hand, she deplores that “social networks are akin to a legal no man’s land which benefits self-regulation”. The consumer association also denounces the posture of McDonald’s which “displays its collaboration with the ‘EU Pledge’, a European self-regulatory initiative whose participants pledge not to place any food advertising in programs aimed at young children” but who deviates then “of this course of action on social networks “.