McDonald’s will now be offering books with their Happy Meals. Oh, joy.
From The Telegraph:
The campaign aims to encourage families to enjoy reading together. The latest research from the National Literacy Trust (NLT), based on a survey of 21,000 young people in the UK, revealed that only 50pc of children enjoy reading “very much” or “quite a lot”.
As well as books given out alongside Happy Meals, customers can redeem books at WH Smith, the high-street retailer, under the offer, McDonald’s said yesterday.
Jonathan Douglas, director of the NLT, said: “Our research tells us that there is a very clear link between book ownership and children’s future success in life, so it is very concerning that one in three children in the UK doesn’t own a book, and half of kids don’t really enjoy reading.
“Initiatives like McDonald’s Happy Readers campaign play an important role in getting more books into the hands of children, and inspiring families to read together as a fun and interactive pastime.”
Am I upset that the kids will get access to book that maybe they wouldn’t otherwise have? Of course not.
Do I get upset when the suits use empirical data to figure out that getting kids to read more, and earlier, helps build them into successful adults? Never.
But will I applaud when a multinational corporation whose sole purpose in life is to rack up profits by selling as many hamburgers as possible to as many people as possible, takes up the role of book distributor and portrays it as being good for kids? Not a chance.
It might be a cynical ploy or it might be a good idea. I guess we’ll see.