McDonald’s Adding Books To Happy Meals, But Not Everyone Smiling About It

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McDonald’s is set to put books in Happy Meals early next month, but an advocacy group is criticizing the company for “trying to earn undeserved goodwill.”

The Happy Meal four-book giveaway featuring McDonald's Happy Meal characters will begin on Nov. 1, which is National Family Literacy Day, and last for two weeks, according to ABC News.

McDonald's has said it will provide more than 20 million books to families in the United States and is also giving 100,000 additional books to the literacy non-profit Reading is Fundamental.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a similar program was launched in England in January after a successful pilot project. McDonald's officials said that response to the test book giveaway was "overwhelmingly positive" and that nine out of 10 parents said they wanted to see more book promotions at McDonald's.

However, the consumer advocacy group Corporate Accountability International says that McDonald’s is “trying to earn undeserved goodwill from the growing number of parents and health advocates who are calling on them to stop marketing to kids."

McDonald's said it is already planning its next Happy Meal Books program for 2015. The company is also offering families an interactive digital book each month through 2014, available on McPlay, McDonald's Happy Meal app.

Each of the four books that will soon come with the Happy Meals will also be available in a downloadable Spanish version.

Sources: MSN, ABC News, Los Angeles Times