By: Rob Adams - Staff Writer
Published: May 17, 2021

Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House - Most people don’t even know what the House charity does. However, they sure know Ronald McDonald, but he might be having a midlife crises. As a clown, Ronald McDonald sells to kids, but it’s a different message from a restaurant chain that’s trying to trying to appeal to adults.

The Ronald McDonald House and marketing campaign is facing scrutiny. The government is getting strict on marketing unhealthy food to children. That has both marginalized Ronald as more of a mascot than a product pitchman and landed him in the middle of the bigger debate about food makers’ responsibilities in stemming the rise in childhood obesity.

McDonald’s says it is proud of the food it offers and that Ronald teaches children to be active. However, critics say it’s time to hang up the yellow jumper. A group called Corporate Accountability International plans to ask the mascot to retire at the company’s annual meeting on Thursday.

The group claims that Ronald encourages kids to eat junk food, contributing to a rise in childhood obesity and related diseases such as diabetes.

it’s the same group that campaigned against the Joe Camel cigarette mascot in the ’90s and complained about Ronald as a role model at McDonald’s annual meeting last year. The group has taken out full-page ads Wednesday in the Chicago Sun-Times, New York Metro and four other papers to call for his head. The ads, signed by more than 550 health groups and professionals, carry the headline, “Doctors’ Orders: Stop Marketing Junk Food To Kids.”


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