May 20th, 2014
A New Mascot in Old Fight Over Fast Food and Kids
By TOM GARA and JULIE JARGON
Corporate Intelligence (Wall Street Journal)
There’s a new character in the age-old war over marketing fast food to children. Ronald McDonald has been the face of McDonald’sMCD -0.12% — and criticism of its child-friendly advertising strategy — for decades. But those critics need to get used to a new combatant in the fight over fast food marketing to children.
Introducing Happy, the new mascot of the McDonald’s kid-focused Happy Meal: Happy is getting a cold welcome from health campaigners, who have targeted McDonald’s for the way it advertises its food to children – giving away collectible toys with meals, partnering up with kids movies and cartoon characters, and employing a clown and other child-friendly mascots.