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McDonald’s face complaint over food vouchers handed out at junior sports games.

The review Panel found McDonald’s to be in breach of Quick Service Restaurant Initiative for Responsible Advertising and Marketing to Children (QSRI) regulations, but despite this the fast food giant will continue its support of junior sport and its commercial partnerships with national sporting bodies including the AFL, shares Yahoo 7.

McDonald’s said the complaint to Ad Standards was due to an isolated incident and it will work hard to comply with nutrition codes when distributing prizes to junior sports clubs.

The controversy over the meal vouchers was sparked by a furious parent after their six-year-old child received a $5 ‘man of the match’ voucher following a game of soccer.

The unidentified parent submitted a complaint to Ad Standards saying they felt the child was being ‘rewarded’ with junk food.

“As a parent, I am angry that while participating in weekend soccer my child was given a ‘man of the match’ award for playing well that involves going to McDonald’s,” they wrote.

“It is hard enough to promote a healthy lifestyle to children in this environment, I don’t appreciate junk food being given to them as an award during a sporting activity.

“This encourages bad lifestyle choices of eating junk food following sporting activity and goes against everything I teach my children.”

Despite this they will continue supplying food vouchers to kids through junior sports clubs despite the Ad Standards Community Panel upholding a parent’s complaint that “bad lifestyle choices” were being forced onto children.

McDonald’s said they were “disappointed to learn of the complaint” but confirmed that the incident was an isolated problem and will continue to distribute vouchers that have been approved.

“We have more than 970 restaurants and work hard with all of them to ensure compliance with the relevant codes,” a McDonald’s spokesperson Chris Grant said.

“Unfortunately, on this occasion, the voucher issued by this specific restaurant was not passed through our standard approval processes. As soon as we were made aware the voucher was withdrawn.”

The voucher found to breach QSRI regulations had a $5 value that could be used to purchase any item on the menu. Approved vouchers can only be used for particular items, for example chicken snack wraps, low fat milk or apple slices, and cannot be exchanged for other products.

Would you be happy for your child to be rewarded with a Maccas voucher?

Share your comments below

  • Yet another example of over reaction. It’s $5, have you seen what you can buy at Maccas fir $5? Not much! And if your child is eating healthy at home, the occasional junk food treat won’t hurt.

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  • I nice reward, I wouldn’t mind if my child received one

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  • I have no problem with the voucher – all about balance in all things,

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  • so hand the voucher back and don’t spoil it for the people who don’t mind rewarding their kids with a treat


    • It is a treat and there is nothing wrong with a treat! We all need a treat!

    Reply

  • Totally ridiculous from this parent. As others said the coupon can be used or not and also there are healthier options than ‘junk food’ at maccas. Either way people are failing to see that kids sport costs lots to run and sponsorship is what keeps kids sports able to run. This parent should be thankful for their child getting the player of the match. Either use the voucher or if u disagree then throw it out but don’t put in a complaint! Sponsorship from big & small business is so vital to kids sports as well as volunteers and should be greatful for this. I remember maccas vouchers from when I was a kid playing sport so these have been around forever! Don’t think any long term damage from a one off $5 voucher!

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  • I think it’s fine. Junk food is a sometimes food and the reward voucher is to be used as a treat. They aren’t recommending the kids eat it all the time.

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  • It wouldn’t bother me if my son won an award from Maccas as he doesn’t have any health issues where he needs to limit or avoid certain foods. We do try keep a balanced diet so this would be an every now and then and not daily treat.

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  • Takes one know it all do gooder to ruin it for the rest. How about you just worry about what your kids eating and leave the rest of us to make decisions for ourselves.

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  • Personally I think it’s good to teach our kids to be thankful with what they get, even when they don’t like a gift or prize. It’s your own choice to use the voucher. You could even use it for a cup of coffee, tea or milk. Sometimes I take my kids to Macca’s and all I’m buying them is frothed milk and apple slices, which in my opinion isn’t too unhealthy.

    Reply

  • “i don’t appreciate junk food given to them as a reward” no actually it was a voucher that you have control over whether you use it or not!

    Having a great once every now and then won’t hurt your kids

    Reply

  • The parents have the option of using the voucher or not. They can say no?

    Reply

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