Has fast food giant, McDonald’s Corp., come into enough fire regarding the healthiness of its food and their marketing practices? Evidently not, as critics are now calling for the company to revisit the way it markets to children and retire Ronald McDonald, their mascot since 1971. This comes on top of the controversy surrounding the use of their Happy Meal toys.
According to CNN Money, advocates disapprove of McDonald’s use of clowns and toys to sell unhealthy food to children. McDonald’s, on the other hand, believes their marketing practices to be responsible and their food to be “high quality.”
In a collection of full-page ads in six metropolitan newspapers (Chicago Sun-Times, New York Metro, San Francisco Examiner, Minneapolis City Pages, and Baltimore City Paper) and events held nationwide, over 550 health professionals and organizations aimed to put a stop to McDonald’s marketing to children and Ronald McDonald.
This campaign was led by Corporate Accountability International, a watchdog group that The Wall Street Journal lists as having targeted tobacco companies and beverage giants, Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. for the environmental impact of their plastic bottles.
Among some of the changes proposed by McDonald’s critics are a shareholder’s resolution and a report assessing its “health footprint.” The Wall Street Journal reports that last month, federal regulators brought standards to the table by which they’d like companies to abide. This includes the requirement that food marketed to children between the ages of 2 and 17 contain healthy items. The food would also have limited sodium, sugar, fat, and calories in accordance with guidelines issued by the Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Resolutions regarding McDonald’s marketing will be voted on during a meeting on Thursday.
In spite of the criticism McDonald’s has received, CNN Money reports that the company continues to support its long-running mascot and claim that it is committed to children’s health and nutrition.