Photo: McDonald's fined in Brazil
The Brazilian consumer protection agency, Procon, has fined fast-food chain McDonald’s $1.6 million for targeting its advertising toward children through their Happy Meal toys.
Procon, that advocates for consumer rights in Sao Paulo, stated that McDonald’s targets their advertising toward youngsters that do not possess the maturity or rational to make smart consumption choices. The consumer protection agency also hinted that more fines maybe on the way for McDonald’s Brazil operations. “This is not an isolated case,” said Procon’s top lawyer in Sao Paulo, Renan Ferraciolli to Reuters. The company came under investigation last year when a non-profit agency filed a complaint accusing the burger chain of “encouraging the formation of distorted values” by marketing Happy Meal toys.
The fine will not make a dent into McDonald’s earnings however it puts into question its future in the largest Latin American economy. The corporation has identified Brazil as a key market for growth and is a sponsor of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. This fine also comes in the heals of last month’s court admonishment for violating Brazilian labor laws by using illegal working hours and forcing McDonald’s employees to only eat McDonald’s at their mealtimes.
McDonald’s can appeal Procon’s decision and fine.