Help Stop Corporate Advertising to our Children
I never found Ronald McDonald a very compelling corporate mascot, but maybe that is because I just don’t get clowns. They don’t scare me or anything, but they do seem weird. So when I started hearing about this desire to retire Ronald McDonald, I didn’t really care. As well as Ronald, I was never that impressed with Grimmace, the Hamburgler, Mayor McCheese, nor the bird thing or the talking McNuggets they added most recently. It seemed to me that McDonalds missed the marketing target…
The point of the retiring Ronald McDonald really isn’t about whether he is a creepy clown or effective marketing mascot though. It is about stopping corporations that sell unhealthy products from intentionally circumventing parental influence and advertising poor choices directly to our children. It should never have been allowed, and it has to be stopped now. For the exact same reason that we are outraged that the camel on the packs of cigarettes became a cartoon character named Joe Camel so he could entice young kids to smoke, we should be outraged that McDonald’s has done the same thing for a much longer time.
By the way, the funny thing about the mascots being ineffective is how stupid I am to think this. McDonald’s has spent billions of dollars on advertising. They have written the book on so many of these techniques including happy meals and play places. My thought that the advertising characters were not effective is probably due to the fact that by the time I even realized that I knew what they were, they had already succeeded at making McDonald’s part of my life.
So, go to Retire Ronald and sign the petition and get involved!
If you need another reason to do so, think about this quote from Ray Crock and read additional information directly from the Retire Ronald website:
“Back in the days when we first got a company airplane, we used to spot good locations for McDonald’s stores by flying over a community and looking for schools. Now we use a helicopter, and it’s ideal.”
Why Should Ronald McDonald Retire?
The national epidemic of diet-related disease puts our children’s health and lives at stake. Young children do not understand advertising’s persuasive intent, yet McDonald’s crafts their advertising messages to specifically appeal to kids. Ronald is one of the most recognized and effective icons in marketing to children, setting them up for a lifetime of unhealthy eating habits and, ultimately, chronic disease.
From city hall to McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill. there are a few things policymakers and executives should do to give Ronald a proper send off.
• end all use of celebrities, cartoons, and branded and licensed characters that appeal to children;
• eliminate all gifts, toys, collectibles, games or other incentive items from kids meals; and
• remove all advertising and promotional materials from places children visit frequently including schools, playgrounds, recreation and community centers, and pediatric health care centers.
What the rest of us can do to bid Ronald adieu. here’s how to Get Involved on the individual And community level:
• Join Corporate Accountability International in calling on McDonald’s to retire Ronald;
• Go to http://www.RetireRonald.org to volunteer, learn more, and take actions to protect children’s health and safeguard our food systems;
• Support local policy efforts, like eliminating all marketing, advertising and sales of fast food from school grounds, property in immediate proximity to schools, children’s libraries, playgrounds and other places where children visit frequently as well as hospitals serving children;
• Support international policy efforts that encourage national governments to respond to this growing public health crisis by curbing the advertisement, marketing and promotion of unhealthy food products to children and young people.