In 2010, San Francisco passed a groundbreaking ordinance requiring kids’ meals with toy giveaways meet basic nutritional standards. Dedicated grassroots organizing successfully countered McDonald’s financial and lobbying clout.
To most children, Ronald McDonald is the very embodiment of McDonald’s. But Ronald McDonald is far from an innocent clown. Rather, as this stunning report reveals, the character is the product of a well-orchestrated and shrewd marketing strategy by America’s king of fast food. By connecting its corporate image to a fun-loving clown, McDonald’s gains a tremendous amount of positive public relations. And what better way to bypass parents and market directly to children than through a clown – the icon of circuses and children’s parties.