Ronald McDonald has been the mascot of McDonald’s since 1971, but a group that is advocating for healthier alternatives for children believes it is time for the celebrity clown to retire.
The group, known as Corporate Accountability International, believes that McDonald’s is using practices such as clowns and toys to market unhealthy food options to children. They have created a letter to the company which has been signed by over 550 health professionals and organizations. This letter is set to run as a full page ad in six metropolitan newspapers on Wednesday and calls for the retirement of Ronald McDonald.
The initiative to get McDonald’s to stop marketing unhealthy choices to children through the use of toys and the infamous Ronald McDonald follows closely on the heels of a class action lawsuit against the company out of California. The suit alleges that the marketing used violates the consumer protection laws.
McDonald’s, however, is not planning to retire Ronald just yet. The company has touted their commitment to children and responsible advertising. They declared that they take their communications to those children very seriously. The company stated that parents were quite happy with their healthier alternatives such as apple dippers and low fat milk.
The company points out that Ronald McDonald is the symbol to their charity, the Ronald McDonald House, which is geared towards the health and well being of children everywhere.
“Ronald is an ambassador for good and delivers important messages to kids on safety, literacy and balanced, active lifestyles,” the statement read.