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Dad sues McDonald’s because his kids demand Happy Meals every two weeks

Mirror logo Mirror 21/11/2018 Hayley Coyle
food on a table: The dad-of-three is suing McDonald's over its Happy Meals © Getty Images The dad-of-three is suing McDonald's over its Happy Meals

A dad is suing McDonald’s for breaching “child advertising laws” - because his kids demand regular Happy Meals.

Antonio Bramante is insisting that the fast food giant is breaking strict advertising rules in his native Quebec, in Canada, that bans targeting products at children under the age of 13.

The dad-of-three is the lead plaintiff in the newly certified lawsuit and says he eats at McDonald's about once every two weeks at the insistence of his children, according to the court documents.

He estimates he has spent hundreds of dollars on Happy Meals, which are children's meals that come with toys.

© Credits: McDonald's

Mr Bramante’s main issue is that the toys that come with the meals are mainly linked to popular film releases meaning children are desperate to get their hands on a “full set”.

He also claims the restaurant is directly targeting children by displaying the Happy Meals toys at their eye level.

Mr Bramante’s lawyer is arguing that the easiest thing to “give in to” is feeding your children and that parents have to “choose their battles”.

Quebec prohibits marketing to children under the age of 13, making it one of only a few jurisdictions in the world to essentially ban all advertising geared towards children.

The province has also had a law since 1980 that restricts marketing unhealthy food to children.

A Happy Meal is displayed for a photograph on a tray at a McDonald's © Credits: Getty Images A Happy Meal is displayed for a photograph on a tray at a McDonald's

Lawyer Joey Zukran said: "McDonald's has a legal obligation to respect that law and they're not, in Quebec at least.”

He added that anyone who bought a Happy Meal in Quebec from November 2013 can request to part of the lawsuit.

Mr Bramante is seeking both compensation and punitive damages, according to reports.

In a statement, McDonald's Canada told the BBC it has received the ruling certifying the lawsuit and plans to examine it carefully.

They said: "We are aware of our obligations under Quebec's advertising laws and reiterate that we do not believe this class action has merit.”

There are three exceptions to Quebec's children’s advertising laws: for ads in children's magazines, for promoting a children's entertainment event, and for advertising via shop windows, displays, containers, packaging and labels.

Mr Zukran says he is ready to argue McDonald's is not covered by any of these exceptions.

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