Friday, May 21, 2010

Ronald McDonald: The Face Of An Evil Empire?

Here we go again. A public advocacy group is pointing a finger at McDonald's, claiming its iconic Ronald McDonald forces kids to get fat.

Some bogus group called Corporate Accountability International insists the clown should be retired, because he represents "a pied piper, drawing youngsters all over the world to food that is high in fat, sodium and calories. Ronald McDonald is dangerous, sending insidious messages to young people."

Actually, the only thing insidious I see is another blame game that takes responsibility away from parents, where it belongs. It's up to kid's caretakers to make nutritional choices—Ronald McDonald is hardly the bad guy here.

Fortunately, McD's refused to give in. CEO Jim Skinner told shareholders, "He is a force for good," including an important role as ambassador for the Ronald McDonald House Charities [which I have personally been involved in, and wholly support]. "He communicates effectively with children and families around balanced, active lifestyles. He does not hawk food."

In all, Corporate Accountability International has collected 10,000 signatures in support—hardly a convincing rallying cry.