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The Power of a Toy

A couple of days ago, we had a photographer at the office to take updated pictures of the lawyers at the firm. They told me that I couldn’t use a picture that was taken of me wearing a cowboy hat… that was taken 10 years ago!

It’s crazy how that works. I remember looking at that picture after it was taken and thinking that it was a terrible picture. Now, it looks a whole lot better!

It’s also why I always say that people getting married should eat as often, and as fast, and as much food as they can before they get married. That way, throughout the years, as friends come into their home and see those pictures, they will most certainly hear the remark, “you look so much thinner now!”.

Despite my wishes for the cowboy hat photo, my picture was also just taken for our website. We are working on a website update.  That’s because social media and online marketing have become just as, or even more important than television advertising. And I am still a big believer in TV advertising.

That brings me to a story about advertising that was published in the Journal of Pediatrics and discussed on It’s titled Fast food TV ads influence a child’s restaurant choice. It is a researched explanation on the influence on where families end up eating, and why.

A new study shows that the more frequently that a child sees a fast food advertisement that involves receiving a free toy, the more likely that a family eats at that restaurant in that “free toy” TV ad. According to the study, 79% of all fast food ads targeting children  usually appear on only 4 TV networks.

For the study, researchers enlisted 100 children between the ages of 3-7. At the time, they found only two nationally recognized fast food restaurants that were directly targeting children in their ads.

In short, it was overwhelming from the study that children were asking to eat at those two fast food restaurants, causing the parents to also eat fast food. Out of the children in the study who received a toy with their food, those same children asked to go to both of the restaurants. Meaning, more fast food!

To further explain in the article, Jennifer Edmond of the Geisel School of Medicine says that because of the findings of the study, she now recommends that parents switch their child to commercial-free television programming to create a situation where the children will not pester their parents for fast food.

I guess less free toy advertising makes everyone healthier in the family, and it serves as a good advertisement for Netflix and Amazon programming!

And our pic o’ day:


Halal McDonald’s Food Settlement

Halal Here is some Monday food for thought, with a blog that is about a food settlement. (Detroit Free Press)


Dearborn, Michigan attorney Majed Moughni, here holding a McDonald’s chicken sandwich that was sold as a halal prepared chicken sandwich. A Halal sandwich means that it was prepared to comply with Muslim religious customs and practices. Halal is the Muslim equivalent to Jewish Kosher preparation.

Any food prepared to receive the Halal preparation designation meets several criteria including how the animal was killed as well as whether prayers were recited to Allah while the animal was killed. Currently, McDonald’s sells halal chicken products at only two of its restaurants in the entire U.S.

A lawsuit was brought against this Michigan McDonald’s restaurant claiming that the food was not truly prepared as represented. McDonald’s did not admit to any wrongdoing but did agree to a $700,000 settlement to resolve the lawsuit.

According to Moughni, the lawsuit and settlement “was positive”. The purpose in filing it was that “it allowed us to educate the public on halal religous customs and practices. It’s a good thing for the community”.

According to the article, there was some objection to the settlement by those participating as part of the Muslim class. Separately, there was some suggestion that McDonald’s was threatening to discontinue serving any Halal prepared food, if they pushed McDonald’s for more. McDonald’s denied any threat on the free speech of its customers.

For pic o’ day, I went with some Monday Cat humor:

Monday Cat

Two Sided, Where Do You Side?

     I love the offshore drilling debate. Those for it tell us that we need to drill off our US coasts, to help us be less dependent on foreign oil sources. And, don’t forget that offshore drilling provides jobs.

     Those against offshore drilling recite statistics that, at best, the US sits on 3% of the world’s oil reserves. Meanwhile, as a nation, we use 25%. Oh, and that stuff about the creation of jobs; The real creation of jobs is because of the expected clean-up, when the oil erupts into our waters.

     At our firm, we have a structured hiring system. Depending on the position, you might interview with 4-5 people. Then, you might have to take an online typing test. All that is pretty defined.

     In the last few years, I’ve also added a psychological test to the hiring process. It’s not an exact science, and here’s why.  If you read the test results, the interpreter usually puts paragraphs that seem a bit contradictory. A person might be very detailed. However, the report then goes on to say that they are under a bit of stress.

     Sometimes, a person who likes people, might talk too much to their co-workers. Someone who is so focused on their task at hand, may seem to “not be a team player”. I always feel like the person who provides the report is hedging the results. Or, maybe it really comes down to the fact that people can be good workers, if they put effort into it.

     The two sides to everything brings me to the main topic of the blog. You know that I enjoy the journey rather than the destination, but we ultimately arrive at the legal topic.

     The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a set of proposed rules that would put certain requirements on restaurants, fast-food chains, coffee shops, convenience stores and other grocery stores.

     As reported by, this is the governments’ latest effort to fight obesity. The rules would require that these locations “post the calorie content of standard items on their menus.” The agency would only require chains with 20 or more stores to be required to post such information.

     Now, here’s the two sides. Either you are all in, on the fight against obesity and the associated health costs and risks involved;  Or, you believe that such government rules are nothing more than another intrusion into our lives. Plus, it is another  expense on businesses.  Is it personal responsibility in your choices of food, or that you need such information to make personal choices.  That’s what makes it interesting for me to blog about!

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