Is McDonald's Pushing Ronald McDonald Toward Retirement?

BusinessWeek posted an interesting article yesterday regarding the present and future of Ronald McDonald, the clown mascot who has sold the world Happy Meals for decades, in the process becoming the bane of anti-globalization activists. They got spokeswoman Danya Proud to admit that Ronald is no longer "tied to the menu," meaning recent efforts to try to upscale the chain with McLatte's and hipsters doing weird dances on tables ends in the company having no use for the redhaired, red-nosed icon.

"He kind of represents the old McDonald's, with the high-fat-content foods that are kind of falling out of favor," an advertising director told reporter Leslie Patton.

"It's clear McDonald's is advertising coffee; they're not advertising burgers," another said.

I never did like Ronald, even before I went on my leftist descent into hating most things corporate--anyone remember that annoying commercial in which Ronald does some type of dance number while singing a gospel-tinged tune with the refrain "Food, folks and fun"? BLECH.

But for people who think McDonald's is sending Ronald to the slaughterhouse, finally freeing children of his addictive presence, be warned: Patton reports, "While Ronald may no longer light up the small screen, he still springs up around town to brighten kids' birthdays and school assemblies." Oh, dear . . .


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