Wednesday, August 14, 2013

More Ketchup With Books On The Side

Earlier this year we wrote an article, ‘Does Publishing Have Ketchup On Its Hands?’, which was about the promotion of free books with fast food from McDonalds. Some said ‘so what?’, one commented that ‘McDonalds are engaging in a wholly legal promotion, one which also encourages literacy among children and supports the waning fortunes of a primarily bricks-and-mortar bookseller'. Some of the personal emails we received also suppored of a position of, ‘books at any cost’.  

Today we read in eBookPortugal that a promotion is being launched in Portugal that is offering digital books for free with a Happy Meal from McDonalds. The programme from Happy Studio has some 12 titles including "The Major Cities of the World" and "The Wonders of Nature." So parents can bring in their kids knowing that they can get fat and learn at the same time!

Last night we watched another episode of 'Family Guy', where the evil tobacco company took over the Toy factory where Peter worked and promoted the least competent, (Peter) to President. Their motive was to introduce kids to smoking through toys and have someone who knew no better at the top. Thanks to Stewie the plan unraveled and even Peter saw the light.

Some 20 years ago the board of B&Q employed an Environment Controller. A move unheard of at the time and one aimed at ensuring we had an ethical approach to sustainable resources, supplies and also that our suppliers in the Far East and elsewhere adhered to acceptable standards of safety and employment. Today such policies are standard across the majority of business.

So the question we once again ask is, why are we allowing books to be used to promote fast food and to children? We recognise that diet is only one part of the children obesity problem, but it is a major contributor. It is claimed that some 25% of boys and 33% of girls in the UK that are aged between two and 19 years are overweight or obese. 

Not convinced then here are some sobering reads: 

The world has always been full of double standards and hypocrisy, but do we honestly support that reading a book is worth the health of a child?

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