McDonald's CEO: Relax, Ronald's not bad
The company tries to tamp down criticism from activists who argue that the mascot promotes childhood obesity.
At the meeting, speakers from the Corporate Accountability Project accused the chain of contributing to the nation's soaring rates of childhood obesity by targeting children, particularly minorities. That notion may have struck a nerve with Thompson, who is African-American.
"Ronald is not a bad guy," he said, according to The Wall Street Journal. "He's about fun. He's a clown. I'd urge you all to let your kids have fun, too."
McDonald's has responded to the criticism of its marketing to children by shrinking the size of the french fries in its Happy Meals and adding apple slices to every serving. The chain has enlisted Ronald McDonald in its health kick, and the clown regularly encourages young McDonald's diners to eat right and exercise.
The mascot is also the face of the company's charity, the Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provides housing to families of seriously ill children who need to travel away from home for medical treatment.
Ronald McDonald was first played on television by Willard Scott, who later gained fame as a personality on NBC's "Today" show, in 1963. The chain has used him less in recent years, preferring to tout its food directly to consumers, according to Salon.com.
--Jonathan Berr is long McDonald's. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr
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Parent replies, "No!."
this encapsulates our country. we are always looking to blame someone else for being fat or anything else. we love to take people to court and blame big business for everything, money money money.
Does anyone remember the guy who did that super size it McDonalds documentary. Remember the government official or watchdog bigshot that was interviewed and he said its McDonalds fault for childhood obesity .....he was about 250 or 300 lbs. himself. Great spokes person. The guy who actually ate the super sized meals from McDonalds 24/7 is a fool. ANYONE who eats large quantities of the same thing 24/7 for 30 days is going to get sick. What stops us from doing that? Parents and intelligence. I guess we should kill off Ronald, the Pillsbury dough boy, the hamburglar, Taco bell dog,
Little Caesar, Bobs Big Boy, Jack in the Box, The Burger King and of course "Wendy", Colonel Sanders.....get a life or move out find better guardians.
For the love of Mike! Or should I say Ronald? Really?!? If a child is fat, look to mom and dad and how they manage his/her daily nutrition. It's a no-brainer. Not withstanding a legitimate health issue.
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