After a successful pilot program, McDonald's has pledged to distribute 15 million books in England over the next two years. In its Happy Meals. Instead of toys. McDonald's branches in the United Kingdom will include a book with each Happy Meal sold as part of a promotion called "Happy Readers," starting Wednesday. For the next five weeks, Happy Meals in the UK will feature non-fiction books from DK Books' Amazing World Series, with categories of Stars and Planets, Big Cats, and Oceans.
Alistair McCrow, McDonald’s ‘vice president of UK marketing said: “With eight in 10 families in the UK visiting our restaurants in the course of the year we’ve got an opportunity like no one else to give that experience to so much of the UK population. The stats are startling. Our restaurants are fun enjoyable places families come to together and relax so there’s an opportunity for us to inject some fun into the reading experience.”
The brand often attracts criticism for marketing to children and the pilot was criticized by the Children’s Food Campaign and called an “inappropriate marketing strategy at a time when there is an epidemic of childhood obesity”.