Corporate Accountability International, the corporate watchdog group who brought down penis-faced Joe Camel, has now set their sights on a less phallic but equally pervasive target: Ronald McDonald. The group is planning to release a report tomorrow calling for the clown’s retirement as the fast food chain’s mascot, and running an accompanying campaign on its website to track Ronald’s presence across the country.
Summoning recent statistics about childhood obesity, CAI is blaming the 50-year-old clown for getting kids hooked on junk food; the group’s senior organizer, Deborah Lapidus, told CNN that he’s “a deep-fried Joe Camel for 21st century.”
For its part, McDonald’s doesn’t seem to have any plans to get rid of its “beloved brand ambassador,” telling CNN in a statement that “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.”
If they want to be taken seriously, it would behoove CAI to come up with some reasonable alternatives for McDonald’s eponymous spokesman. Given the message that the group is hoping to relay with its actions, this
may present more appropriate choices.