Retire The Ronald? Activists Push McDonald’s To Dump Clown

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A group of health activists are calling on McDonald’s shareholders to give the boot to the world’s most famous clown.

Deborah Lapidus of Corporate Accountability International (CAI) told KNX 1070’s Dick Helton that Ronald McDonald is the “face of the practice of predatory marketing to kids”.

“It’s really reached a crisis level where 1 in 3 kids here in the U.S. are at risk of developing diabetes as the result of diets high in McDonald’s-style junk food,” Lapidus said.

The group is partnering with The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia on a resolution to better document the fast food chain’s “health footprint”, including a report that would assess “the potential impact of public concerns and evolving public policy on the company’s finances and operations.”

When asked if her organization is perhaps being a bit too hard on the nearly half-century-old mascot, Lapidus pointed to its longevity as an opportunity for the company to reinvent itself.

“It’s been 50 years of a long career, and it’s time for him to enter into the retirement home with Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man,” Lapidus said.

Campaigners with CAI plan on submitting an open letter at the annual meeting from over 600 doctors in every state in the U.S. who support the graceful exit of Ronald McDonald.

  • Lillith

    This is a waste of time. It is not a plastic clown that is making children obese but parents who do not feel it is important enough to cook a healthy meal. Childhood obesity is a crisis that will only be fixed when parents stop being so lazy.

    • qbert111

      The US is becoming so pathetic. Now “activists” dictate how a multi billion dollar company should advertise their food. If some lazy parent wants to stuff her obese child with a toxic burger and fries then let them. “The Land of the Free.” We nned more people to die off anyways, its getting a little crowded in here these days.

  • ginny

    I’m with you Lillith. Parental responsibility used to be a priority but these days special interest groups seem to think they need to be the protectors of the children of the country. How about they spend their time and money on going out within the communities and working directly with the parents who no longer are willing to take their responsibilities seriously and try forcing their beliefs on them. In addition, if there are nuns out spouting about non-church related doctrine, remove their tax exemptions.

    • TT

      it doesnt matter who they are – Havent they ever heard of Ronald McDonald House? And all the charity work McDonalds does for families with children that are critically ill ? That clown makes those kids smile – when possibly nothing else will… Parents are responsible for what goes in a childs daily nutrition, not the school, not McDonalds or anywhere else that happens to be fast food…Makes me wonder if the people raising all the fuse about this even have children…..

  • Hllyrpt

    These so called do gooders need to get a life, and I agree with Lillith parents need to be educated about obesity and saving their kids lives.

  • Caroline

    I think its time for the clown to go away, but not for the reasons stated above. Look at the photo. The child is obviously terrified, and this is likely at a hospital helipad because he is ill (Ronald Mc Donald House). Clowns are often terrifying to children, especially in person. I admire the clown’s history, but I’ve never liked it and think its time for a better trademark mascot.

  • James

    Since when is a fast food company responsible for your child’s diet and health? The parents need to feed their kids better by cooking at home or making better choices when eating out. No one is forced to eat junk food and what you eat your kids, eat so look in the mirror and take some accountability for your child’s health and stop blaming everyone else.

  • mr. burger

    I own stock in McDonalds and I think the parents should keep stuffing there kids with burgers. If the only way you can shut your kid up is feed him/her a big mac well you better step back and take a look at who is in charge. Keep the clown & remember to super size it.

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