A proposed class-action lawsuit has been filed by a group of Quebec parents against McDonald’s, accusing the fast-food chain of illegally marketing its popular “Happy Meals” to children under the age of 13.

Filed Tuesday at the Montreal courthouse, the lawsuit alleges that McDonald’s is breaking a provincial law, which prohibits any form of publicity aimed at children, by showcasing the Happy Meal toys on displays placed at the kids’ eye-level. The plaintiffs argue that the displays encourage children to ask their parents to buy them a Happy Meal.

Watch: McDonald’s named among Canada’s top plastic polluters (story continues below)

The proposed class action comes just as a bill restricting marketing of unhealthy foods to children is set to undergo its final vote in Canada’s Senate. Introduced by Sen. Greene Raine in 2016, Bill S-228 draws its inspiration from the Quebec legislation.

Article 248 of the Quebec Consumer Protection Act states that “no person may make use of commercial advertising directed at persons under thirteen years of age.”

Currently in other Canadian provinces, advertising to children is only regulated by the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, a voluntary program in which McDonald’s takes part.

Not a ‘direct incitement,’ says McDonald’s

The definition of what constitutes advertising will be at the heart of the proposed class action, since the language of the Quebec law is pretty vague. According to the text, “to advertise” means “to prepare, utilize, distribute, publish or broadcast an advertisement, or to cause it to be distributed, published or broadcast.”

Earlier on HuffPost Canada:
Is McDonald’s Monopoly Rigged Against Canada? It Was In 1995McDonald’s Canada To Buy ‘Sustainable’ BeefGreenpeace Canada Names Tim Hortons, McDonald’s On List Of Top Plastic Polluters

Quoted in La Presse, one of McDonald’s’ lawyers emphasized that the legislation makes certain exceptions when …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Business


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