Ronald McDonald, the orange and white face of the popular fast-food chain that bears his name, is under attack by nutrition advocates who want him to be retired.
Their beef, so to speak, is that McDonald’s uses clowns and toys to sell unhealthy food to impressionable children. The company argues that its marketing practices are responsible, and that its food is “high quality.”
The push to retire Ronald is being led by a group called Corporate Accountability International, which plans to introduce a resolution calling for the clown’s ouster at the company’s annual shareholder meeting Thursday.
“Through this initiative, the public health community is rallying behind a simple message to McDonald’s: stop making the next generation sick — retire Ronald and the rest of your junk food marketing to kids,” said Steven Rothschild, a professor at Rush Medical College and a backer of the resolution.
McDonald’s is already being sued by a group of consumers and health care professionals over the toys that come in the Happy Meals marketed to kids. The group filed a class action suit late last year in California that claims the company’s marketing practices violate state’s consumer protection laws.