The recent attempt by McDonald’s to promote healthy lifestyle choices has come to an abrupt end. Just a few days after the fast-food chain started giving out activity trackers to kids, the company was forced to stop the promotion following reports of a possible defect.
McDonald’s Step-It activity tracker was given out with every Happy Meal purchased in the US and Canada. Being a free gift, the small, plastic pedometer was about as basic as you could get – a single power/reset button, a display showing the number of steps taken, and a blinking LED that increased in speed based on the current activity level. But at least it encouraged kids to work off those burgers.
The campaign was meant to coincide with the Rio Olympics and run for four weeks, but the company has now stopped giving out the trackers after receiving “limited reports” of potential skin irritations that “may be associated from wearing the band.”
"It will no longer be offered as part of our Happy Meals,” said McDonald’s spokesperson Terri Hickey in a statement. “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and we are fully investigating this issue.” The company didn’t say if it plans to issue a recall for the device.
"Our restaurants are now offering our youngest guests an alternative Happy Meal toy," added Hickey.
Mashable notes that YouTube promotional videos of the device, which showed them being used by children, have disappeared. They were originally posted by the McDonald’s Canada account.
The incident comes just a few weeks after Intel-owned Basis issued a voluntary recall of its Peak fitness smartwatches following reports of overheating issues that could burn wearers’ skin.