Well Played, McDonalds

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

The restaurant chain executes a brilliant little maneuver to get around San Francisco’s ridiculous attempt to ban the toys in Happy Meals.

Nose-thumbing at absurd regulations makes me smile.

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17 Responses to “Well Played, McDonalds”

  1. #1 |  Brian | 

    Just because the legislation was aimed at McDonald’s doesn’t mean they’re the only ones affected. How many businesses in the future will be caught by this legislation? Would think if the legislation was aimed specifically at McDonald’s and McDonald’s is now no longer affected by said legislation, it can logically be repealed. Right?

  2. #2 |  K | 

    “Now, in order to have the privilege of making a 10-cent charitable donation in exchange for the toy, you must buy the Happy Meal. Hilariously, it appears Mar et al., in their desire to keep McDonald’s from selling grease and fat to kids with the lure of a toy have now actually incentivized the purchase of that grease and fat — when, beforehand, a put-upon parent could get out cheaper and healthier with just the damn toy.”

    This made no sense to me until I found out that you could previously buy just the toy for $2.18. Is the market just for those crappy toys really so big that we’ll see an increase in Happy Meal sales in SF?

  3. #3 |  CyniCAl | 

    This means war.

  4. #4 |  Fred Mangels | 

    Agreed. Love it when I see things like this happen and wish we’d see more of it.

    Something I don’t understand is why more people don’t fight back. For instance; in California I can think of a couple nanny state regs that could be evaded quite easily, I think.

    I believe No Smoking laws only apply in places accessible to the public at large, not in private clubs. Service stations are required to provide free compressed air (for filling tires) if open to the general public.

    Why don’t more businesses consider becoming “private” clubs? Seems to me you could become one easily yet still be able to solicit business from the general public. A bar, for instance, could require membership to enter, but you could just charge a one- time $.10 charge for a membership card. Same with service stations.

    That way if a bar owner wanted to allow smoking, it he could do it easily. I can understand why a service station might not want to go through the hassle over the air pumps but the place I get my gas is a private company that requires a card and they’re probably the biggest dealer in my county (and I have to pay to use their air pumps).

    I can only guess that most business owners are either too afraid, or too lazy, to give it a try.

  5. #5 |  Jeff Akston | 

    And now McDonalds also gets to write off the money that is donated to McDonald house. Thus, more profit for them!

  6. #6 |  Steven | 


    Something like that was tried here in Minnesota. Actors were exempted from the new indoor smoking ban (the idea being a character in a might play smoke or something). A bar in the Twin Cities metro decided to start having “theater nights” were all the patrons were dubbed actors in a community theater of sorts.

    The local busybodies were not amused and fined the bar owner until he stopped.

  7. #7 |  Chaz | 

    The private club thing didn’t last here in Juneau, Alaska either:

    One bar owner already had a sealed off ventilated smoking room which had to be closed. Another who had a bar in the basement of a hotel tried to skirt the law by breaking down a wall in the bar and turning the next door room into a ventilated sealed off by sliding door smoking room, which was in the hotel zoning so he thought he might be able to get away with it if he banned drinks from being allowed inside. That didn’t fly either…

  8. #8 |  CyniCAl | 

    “That way if a bar owner wanted to allow smoking, it he could do it easily.”

    Not a chance. OSHA regulations forbid it.

  9. #9 |  marco73 | 

    Wow, $2.18 just for the toy? Many of our local Tampa area McDonald’s market the Happy Meal on Tuesdays and Thursdays for $1.99.
    I know plenty contemporaries of my twenty-something children who love to pick up a HM as cheap eats, and they even enjoy the toy. So did the SF Council require an ID check to make sure you are old enough to purchase the HM?

  10. #10 |  adam | 

    Not Happy Meal related, but now I have to pass an interview to get sudafed. FML


  11. #11 |  Single Acts of Tyranny | 

    Amazing really that courts now seem to uphold the “you know what we meant” principle in the case of poorly drafted legislation.

    Over here in the mother country, smoking is specifically banned in private members clubs (ie even ones that are really private members clubs) so you now have the spectacle of older people standing outside in the cold and rain for a smoke ~ now that’s healthy!

  12. #12 |  Single Acts of Tyranny | 

    @ Adam, wow amazing, no chance of a guy with a heavy cold having his door smashed down by dopey feds then!

    You can of course subvert this nonsense. Where I live they ask you questions about eye drops (no, really, they do). Anyway, my two year old son sometimes gets an eye infection which is quickly and easily dealt with by Chloramphenicol which is available without prescription and was recommended for him by our doctor. anyway in a slightly different jurisdiction they won’t give it to a two-year old without prescription and when I tried to buy some they told me to ‘Foxtrot Oscar’ So I went back to the car, told my wife to buy some “for herself” and one minute later we had the medicine, and two hours later, the boy was well on the way to recovery.

  13. #13 |  2nd of 3 | 

    “I don’t understand is why more people don’t fight back.”

    Some people are apethetic, some people are ignorant, some simply don’t share your world view so there’s nothing to fight back against, or some combination of the three.

  14. #14 |  Tim P | 

    For the last maybe 7 years or so I’ve been waiting for the downfall of Sheriff Joe, but it never comes. There is always an investigation, fed, state, county, Phoenix, that is going to be the one that shows he put parking meter nickels in his safe but it never comes. I think the Phoenix New Times is a good site and read it often, but when are they going to get Joe?

  15. #15 |  croaker | 

    @13 Because if you fight back alone, you will be killed by the SWAT team.

    @14 PNT has a current lawsuit against Joe, last I heard. Going nowhere as usual. He keeps getting reelected by the snowbirds on his “I’m the only one standing between your grandaughters and the howling mob of reefer-crazed Mexican rapists” campaign platform.

  16. #16 |  Marty | 

    having a bombastic Mayor McCheese explain the policy in a commercial would’ve really been cool.

  17. #17 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    The state will not let this one go so easily. They can’t allow someone to “win” lest it embolden others. Oh, it’s on now McD.

    Fascists never retreat…cuz the chilrenz.