The clown may not be cutting it for McDonald's


Is it time to give Ronald McDonald his gold watch, activate his pension and send him off to a well-earned retirement? That’s what one advertising tracking firm thinks – the children of today just aren’t responding to gentlemen with painted faces and floppy shoes the way they used to.

According to Ace Metrix, Ronald is not as effective as he once was in getting the attention of children and motivating them to motivate their parents to visit the restaurants he is promoting. The thought is that the connected kids of the modern age just aren’t moved to action by a circus act any longer.

On top of that, the clown is becoming a public relations problem. The heightened campaign against childhood obesity has put any effort to promote unhealthy food up for loud criticism. That goes double for any character that is out there promoting such food specifically to children.

According to an article in the Stamford Advocate, a group of groups is asking that the clown be put out to pasture. Thus far, McDonald’s is resisting such requests.

RBR-TVBR observation: If shareholders and marketers at McDonalds gang up on Ronald, it would seem his chances of continued employment would not be good. Children’s nutrition activists have long deplored any character that encourages kids to consume the types of food and drink associated with fast food chains. Of course, if Ronald is sent packing by his employer rather than through activist pressure, the activists are unlikely to be happy with whatever McDonald’s dreams up to take his place.