McDonalds defends Ronald McDonald and marketing to kids
More here: McDonald's Board Votes Down Ronald Protest Proposal | News - Advertising Age
In McDonald's eyes, Ronald McDonald can do no wrong -- even though he may not have the appeal he once did. Even as health-care advocates went on their annual attack, McDonald's was in the midst of rolling out about a half-dozen ads by Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett with Ronald McDonald as the centerpiece, encouraging kids to visit its Happy Meal website.
The nearly 50-year-old McDonald's mascot was in the hot seat once again this week, when consumer watchdog group Corporate Accountability International and health professionals took out ads in newspapers asking that the company retire Ronald McDonald and limit marketing to children.
But McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner at the company's annual shareholders meeting did not hesitate to voice the company's stance, saying that "Ronald McDonald is going nowhere." Shareholders agreed, voting down a proposal -- only 6% voted in favor of it -- that would also require McDonald's to report on the impact that public policy and childhood-obesity concerns have on the company's bottom line.