March 30th, 2010
11:31 AM ET

Group tells Ronald McDonald to take a hike

By Madison Park
CNNhealth.com writer/producer

A corporate watchdog group that got rid of Joe Camel is after another icon - this time, its target is tall, red and happy.

Corporate Accountability International plans to host a retirement party for Ronald McDonald as it releases a report Wednesday that basically says,  "We’re not loving it. " The report calls for McDonald’s to stop using the iconic clown.

“For nearly 50 years, Ronald McDonald has hooked kids on unhealthy foods spurring a deadly epidemic of diet-related diseases,” said Deborah Lapidus, the senior organizer at Corporate Accountability International. “Ultimately the report makes the case that it’s time that McDonald’s stop directing fast food to kids.  Really, Ronald deserves a break and so do we.”

The group plans to hold events outside of McDonald's throughout the country and wants the fast food chain to stop using its corporate mascot.  The mascot makes children “vulnerable to manipulations to marketing” and turns them on to junk food at an age when childhood obesity rates  have soared, Lapidus said.

The group is employing the same strategy as it did to target the cigarette mascot in its “Send Joe Camel packing” campaign in the 1990s.

“A lot of our thinking is modeled on that campaign and success,” Lapidus said.  “We think of Ronald McDonald as a deep-fried Joe Camel for 21st century.”

McDonald’s does not appear to have plans to ditch the clown.  The company released a statement to CNN.com calling Ronald McDonald “a beloved brand ambassador for McDonald's” and described him as crucial to its charity efforts to help families of hospitalized children.

“Ronald also helps deliver messages to families on many important subjects such as safety, literacy, and the importance of physical activity and making balanced food choices. That's what Ronald McDonald is all about, which our customers know and appreciate,” according to the statement.

Lapidus said the fast food giant's message has  some “fundamental ironies.”

“McDonald’s charity does a lot of good and they do work to be commended,” she said.  “But there are serious question about the face of the charity that’s about kids getting better that also promotes unhealthy food to kids.  Could it not serve the same children without the cross promotion of burgers and fries which are affecting kids' health?”

Other McDonald’s characters, such as Hamburglar or Grimace (the purple triangular fellow) can rest easy.  Health advocates are not targeting them.

soundoff (1,361 Responses)
  1. Redirect Ronald

    I agree with "speak_the_truth". I also doubt they would have any reservations about using the Ronald McDonald house if their children needed it. Maybe McDonald's should redirect Ronald McDonald to specifically be the mascot for the RM House instead of the entire company in general. Then he would be viewed as a caring, helpful figure for children in need rather than a deceitful, smiling icon of grease-death and unhealthy habits.

    June 4, 2010 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. LiveFreeor

    Let's get outraged about smoking cancer sticks and eating bad beef, but not think twice about killing millions of our children by abortion or millions of other people with our trillion dollar military.

    June 4, 2010 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. parentsaretoblame

    The food industry and parents are to blame for childhood obesity. The lack of quality and nutritious food sold at McDonald's can be purchased at any grocery store. How many brands of french fries and chicken nuggets are sold at the super market. There is a whole aisle devoted to selling soda at most grocery stores. Everyday children are exposed to ads on television that promote poor dietary choices. The food industry attempts to mask unhealthy food by labeling the food with words such as "organic" or contains "whole grain". You can't tell me that organic cheetos are much healthier for your kids than non-organic cheetos. Many unhealthy foods that are now labeled "contains whole grain" contain very little whole grain. Look at the ingredients. If it one of the last items listed, it contains very little. Don't let the food indutry fool you. Most of these companies do not care about your childs' nutrition, but rather only look to make a quick buck. You don't see very many 5 year olds in the supermarket buying unhealthy food that they want. Parents should bear most of the blame. They purchase the food that they give to their children. Poor food choices by parents result in childhood obesity. Parents need to take time to make food for their children, rather than opening a can or box. Many nutritious meals can be made in under 20 minutes. I have two small children that do not drink soda of high fructose corn syrup juice. Do they ever go to McDonald's? Yes, once or twice per month. I could go on and on.

    June 4, 2010 at 17:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Boris

    The real cause of obesity is not as much fast food, it is inactivity. When I was a kid, my source of entertainment was riding for hours on my bike, walking through the woods, swimming in the creek, playing outside. Now kids entertainment consisits of video games, cell phones, facebook, and countless other electronic destractions. This is the real cause. It leads to a downward spiral where a person gains wait and then yes, they will eat those super sized meals. 50 years ago a McDonalds meal consisted of a small hamburger, small fries, and 8 oz soda. That was an adult meal!

    June 5, 2010 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. hotel escorts

    Pretty cool site you've got here. Thanks for it. I like such topics and anything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more on that blog soon.

    Kate Benedict

    August 31, 2010 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Thomas Romberg

    Ronald Mcdonad need to be for all ages and not just for kids . If Ronald Mcdoanld retires then McDonalds needs to go to . McDonalds is Ronald McDonalds home . How dare we attack Ronald Mcdonald .

    September 4, 2010 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. GJ

    In the 50's we were warned of Soviets taking charge of how children were raised, we swore never in America...fast forward 2011.. now is America any different if we let the few steal the joy of a small toy out of our childrens Happy Meals. Ronald McDonald has brought joy to our children and grand children.. let us make the choices for our children. Long live Ronald McDonald and the American Dreams

    May 18, 2011 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Victoria

    So because idiots don't know how to feed their children EVERY child should be punished. Get over yourselves, removing Ronald McDonald isn't going to stop idiots from feeding their kids nothing but junk food. People need to learn that a kid will eat what is on his plate if he is given no other choice. Don't be a short order cook for your kids and teach them to eat properly, this is YOUR job quit copping out with the easier thing. When my kids get their monthly happy meal they better get a damn toy because why else am I paying more for their meal than my own?!?!?!

    May 21, 2011 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Heather Terry

    These people need to stop pointing fingers in the wrong direction! It is a parents JOB to teach their kids good eating habits. This company needs to be reminded of that... They learn from US... So all you lazy parents out there stop buying fast food and give your kids something healthy most of the time. This company needs to look at what McDonald's is doing ... They offer healthy sides to the kids meal (apples) and you have a choice soda or milk. Every menu item has a calorie content... Including the happymeals! Fast food doesn't promote child obesity... Lazy parenting does! Stop parking your kids in front of the TV or video games because you don't want to deal with them... Play a game with them, take them to the park. I bet if you see an obese child you will find an obese parent.

    May 29, 2011 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. yoga retreat

    I just found your pages on Tuesday. I have been looking almost everywhere online for thisinfo! I really feel your site needs a great deal more followers. Tell me if I might be of any help to you.


    December 25, 2018 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. JsweCrulk

    buy viagra prescription buying viagra online illegal generic viagra sildenafil

    November 25, 2020 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. KbrgMile

    viagra 2 sildenafil generic in united states how to get a viagra prescription online

    November 27, 2020 at 05:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. FmsgEncox

    viagra 247 viagra leirГЎs what is viagra soft tablet

    November 28, 2020 at 05:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. DvscZisse

    benefits of writing essays writing descriptive essays paid to write articles

    November 28, 2020 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. FgsZisse

    postgraduate dissertation writing papers for money essay online grading

    November 29, 2020 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. FnrdEncox

    viagra online using paypal australia viagra online sydney where to get cheap viagra

    November 30, 2020 at 06:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. FsfEncox

    sociology essays architectural thesis proposals essay kickstarter

    November 30, 2020 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. FnrhEncox

    viagra generic date viagra alternatives healthstore viagra

    November 30, 2020 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. JgscCrulk

    essay for you college essays 2016-17 case study report

    November 30, 2020 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. FqfEncox

    help with essay writing thesis statement for analytical essay awesome college essays

    December 2, 2020 at 08:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. FnsbEncox

    essay 7th grade essays 123 help research writing help

    December 2, 2020 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. FtghEncox

    coursework masters degree writing a biographical essay poetry essay

    December 2, 2020 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. KwgdMile

    successful college application essays inverse trig functions integration homework write

    December 2, 2020 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. DvncZisse

    canadian pharmacy cialis brand purchase cialis online canadian pay cialis with pay pal

    December 8, 2020 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. FgnsZisse

    indian cialis cialis no prescription cialis hk

    December 8, 2020 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. FsfgEncox

    viagra online using paypal australia how much does viagra cost viagra newsletter sign up

    December 11, 2020 at 07:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. FbsbEncox

    generic cialisis buy cialis on line overnight cialis shop

    December 11, 2020 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. detectives en ocaña

    detectives en antequera


    December 12, 2020 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. JgsvCrulk

    365 pills viagra cialis professional viagra ireland paypal order viagra in us

    December 12, 2020 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. FqbfEncox

    dapoxetine cialis online pharmacy cialis comparison viagra cialis melbourne site:au

    December 12, 2020 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. DvnjZisse

    buy viagra with paypal viagra 50mg buy viagra online with overnight shipping

    December 13, 2020 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. FgrsEncox

    viagra online melbourne viagra australia generic canadian viagra 24 medic

    December 13, 2020 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. KhedMile

    canadian viagra suppliers viagra super active free shipping canadian pharmacies selling viagra to the united states

    December 14, 2020 at 06:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Cary Montoto

    Have you ever considered publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based on the same ideas you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.


    December 14, 2020 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Don Cring

    I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?


    December 14, 2020 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. zortilo nrel

    I saw a lot of website but I conceive this one has something special in it in it


    December 16, 2020 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Wayne Kubas

    What your declaring is absolutely real. I know that everyone should say the exact same matter, but I just believe that you put it in a way that everyone can realize. I also love the images you set in right here. They suit so well with what youre hoping to say. Im positive youll attain so quite a few folks with what youve received to say.


    December 20, 2020 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. 700k money system

    Imagine getting hundreds of people flooding your inbox on autopilot, 24/7. Cutting-edge funnel-based app that can generate 100 commissions of up to 900+ dollars DAILY. More details: Click in link in profile


    December 26, 2020 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. AqwsEncox

    pharmacy rx one reviews discount pharmacy card the peoples pharmacy

    January 9, 2021 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. KhthMile

    universal drugstore nearest drugstore canada drugs online

    January 9, 2021 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. LokuEncox

    online pharmacy drugstore ed pharmacy rx one reviews

    January 10, 2021 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Micheal Shakin

    I dugg some of you post as I cerebrated they were very beneficial invaluable


    January 10, 2021 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Noelle Evan

    *I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.


    January 11, 2021 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. JtmfEncox

    canadian mail order pharmacy express scripts pharmacy canada pharmacy

    January 12, 2021 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. NllpZisse

    online pharmacy no prescription approved canadian online pharmacies drugstore near me

    January 12, 2021 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. JlloCrulk

    canada pharmacy reviews approved canadian online pharmacies best ed medication

    January 12, 2021 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. FgvdZisse

    universal drugstore pharmacy drugstore online canada pharmacy reviews

    January 12, 2021 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. KlioMile

    cheap viagra and cialis in australia order viagra online viagra on line cheap viagra mastercard viagra gum pink viagra 2 day shipping viagra viagra sources viagra cialis enzyte viagra patent expiration date canadian viagra buy via paypal to buy viagra with dapoxetine generic viagra thru paypal generic viagra au viagra manufacturers in india

    January 14, 2021 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Leave a Reply to adikos


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.