McDonald's franchisee asked to stop mail shots to kids

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LONDON -- McDonald's franchisee JMC Restaurants of Lisburn, County Down, Northern Ireland, has been criticised by the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority for targeting a child in a direct mailing piece.

One child's parents say the mailing contained a card headed "Come and see Ronald McDonald" on one side and "McDonald's Lisburn invite you to come and see Ronald McDonald..." on the other.

The ASA, which has no mandatory powers, upheld a complaint from the parent that children should not be targeted in this way. JMC Restaurants, which trades as McDonald's, told the ASA that the child attended a birthday party at the restaurant. The invitation was to see a free magic show and to meet Ronald McDonald.

It did not believe the advertising encouraged children to pester their parents, the ASA says it was told.

The ASA says it is concerned that parental consent was not obtained before JMC approached the child. It has asked JMC not to target children in future without parental consent. Neither JMC nor McDonald's Restaurants London, a subsidiary of McDonald's Corporation, was available for comment.

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