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Should McDonald’s retire Ronald McDonald? April 3, 2010

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Corporate Accountability International, the same group that helped force Joe Camel’s demise, is pressuring McDonald’s to retire Ronald McDonald. According to the group, the clown is “the product of a well-orchestrated and shrewd marketing strategy by America’s king of fast food” and “McDonald’s food is responsible for such social ills as heart disease, diabetes, animal welfare abuses, labor exploitation, unceasing environmental destruction and the breakdown of our food system.” The case against Ronald is made very clearly on the group’s website, www.retireronald.org.

Not everyone agrees that McDonald’s is guilty of manipulating young kids to eat burgers. Writers from the Chicago Tribune, for instance, have argued that parents are to blame for caving into their kids’ demands, and for feeding them sugar-loaded foods at home as well.

For more on this story, see the following videos:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Is Ronald McDonald primarily used to target young children?

2.  If so, is McDonald’s immoral?

3.  If Ronald McDonald should retire, what other company mascots could be targeted for pitching unhealthy products?

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