Activists, Teachers, Parents and Youth Tell McDonald’s: End McTeacher’s Nights, Stop Using Teachers as Marketing Agents
30,000 Petition Signatures Delivered to McDonald’s Executives
CHICAGO − McDonald’s should stop using teachers as marketing agents and end McTeacher’s Nights, the corporate marketing stunt disguised as a school fundraiser, a coalition of groups said today.
The groups delivered more than 30,000 petition signatures to McDonald’s executives at the corporation’s flagship Chicago store, in advance of the company’s shareholders meeting, which will be held on Thursday.
During McTeacher’s Nights, teachers work behind the counter of McDonald’s, serving their students burgers and fries in exchange for a small amount of money.
“Directly in the midst of a childhood obesity epidemic, McDonald’s is using teachers to sell unhealthy fast food to children,” said Kristen Strader, campaign coordinator for Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert program. “This profit-driven marketing ploy disproportionately targets children and takes advantage of the important relationships built on trust that students and teachers share.”
For many students, teachers serve as role models. Aware that teachers offer an implied endorsement when they serve McDonald’s food to students, McDonald’s is taking advantage of the trust that students place in their teachers to create brand loyalty among children and increase profits.
The petition signatures were gathered by consumer advocacy groups including Public Citizen, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and Corporate Accountability International. The National Education Association, Chicago Teachers Union and more than 50 state and local teacher unions around the country support the demand for McDonald’s to end McTeacher’s Nights.