As one of the main 2016 Rio Olympic sponsors and the official restaurant of the Games, The Golden Arches have put fitness trackers in Happy Meals in the United States and Canada to get kids excited about exercising.
The band will be available for four weeks, during which it will advertise the tracker on TV and include it on YouTube pre-rolls. Every Happy Meal included one of six “STEP-it” fitness tracker that blink slowly or quickly depending on a child’s activity.
Even though a City News reporter found the pedometer flashed when she was reaching for Maccas fries, but not walking up stairs:
— Faiza (@CityFaizaAmin) August 15, 2016
— Faiza (@CityFaizaAmin) August 16, 2016
“STEP-it is in line with McDonald’s general philosophy for Happy Meal toys, which is to make toys that encourage either physical or imagination-based play,” McDonald’s Canada Senior Marketing Manager, Michelle McIImoyle, said in a statement.
Here’s one of the STEP-it pre roll ads:
But the pedometer has been quickly withdrawn the product after it caused skin irritations and reactions. The company said it was “fully investigating this issue” and that the plastic trackers would no longer be offered in the U.S. and Canadian markets.
McDonald’s released a statement about product withdraw: “We are voluntarily removing the Step It! Activity Band Happy Meal toys in our restaurants in our United States and Canadian markets. It will no longer be offered as part of our Happy Meals. We have taken this swift and voluntary step after receiving limited reports of potential skin irritations that may be associated from wearing the band.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and we are fully investigating this issue. Our restaurants are now offering our youngest guests an alternative Happy Meal toy.”