Cannes-Do Festival Banner
Modern Marketing

Labour demands McDonald’s end ‘appalling’ Monopoly campaign

By John Glenday | Reporter



childhood obesity article

March 18, 2019 | 3 min read

Fresh from advocating a ban on cartoon cereal mascots, Labour deputy leader Tom Watson has called on McDonald’s to axe its recurring Monopoly campaign on the grounds that its menu is a ‘danger to public health’.

Watson is spearheading efforts to force the fast food retailer to scrap an annual competition which offers entrants to win prizes including food, on the grounds that it encourages overeating.


Labour demands McDonald’s end ‘appalling’ Monopoly campaign

Reports in The Observer suggest Watson has directly approached UK chief executive Paul Pomroy to ask for a change of heart, overtures which have thus far been rebuffed.

In his letter, citing the nationwide childhood obesity epidemic, Watson wrote: “In this context, it is appalling that your company's Monopoly marketing ploy encourages people to eat more unhealthy foods by offering sugar-filled desserts as rewards."

The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.

Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.

Sign up

"It is unacceptable that this campaign aims to manipulate families into ordering junk food more frequently and in bigger portions, in the faint hope of winning a holiday, a car, or a cash prize many would otherwise struggle to afford”

McDonald’s counters that it values ‘customer choice’ first and foremost, pointing out that players can also participate by ordering healthier menu items. It has also ceded ground by no longer offering additional chances to win for those who go large.

In a statement, the firm said: “This year's campaign sees customers receive prize labels on carrot bags, salads and our Big Flavour Wraps range, and we have removed the incentive to 'go large'.

"Nutrition information is clearly displayed and we continue to review, refine and reformulate our menu to reduce saturated fat, salt and sugar.”

The dust-up comes as the government entertains the idea of banning all junk food TV commercials from broadcast prior to the 21:00 watershed to contain spiraling childhood obesity levels.

Modern Marketing

Content created with:

McDonald's is a fast food company that was founded in 1940 as a restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California, United States. 

Find out more

More from Modern Marketing

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +