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May 19, 2011

Great, Another Middle-Aged Worker Out of a Job

A group of “health professionals,” is calling on McDonald’s Corporation to give their ubiquitous spokesclown, Ronald McDonald, the pink slip as part of the battle against childhood obesity. While they admit that there are many causes of childhood obesity, they believe that “marketing can no longer be ignored as a significant part of this massive problem.”

Numbers don’t lie, as this chart illustrates:

Obesity Trends

Ronald McDonald was created in the mid-‘60s.  As you can see, during the first 15 years that he was used by McDonald’s, obesity rates stayed fairly steady.  During the following 20 years while he was used by McDonald’s obesity rates skyrocketed.  And in the last ten years or so while he continued in their service, they’ve flattened out again.

What other conclusion could you possibly draw? 

Ronald McDonald is killing our children.

The effort is being sponsored by a nonprofit organization called “Corporate Accountability International,” (CAI) which you know will always give a fair hearing to corporations by the web address they use:


Why does the CAI want McDonald’s to fire Ronald? According to their 32-page report:

Far from being “happy meals,” McDonald’s food is responsible for such social ills as heart disease, diabetes, animal welfare abuses, labor exploitation, unceasing environmental destruction, and the breakdown of our food system.”

If you are like most Planet Moron readers, you’re probably thinking to yourself,  “The fries are totally worth it.”

Also, “What about the parents?”

It just so happens they have an answer for that:

“’What about the parents?’ I hear this refrain all too often. After all, kids don’t drive themselves to McDonald’s or purchase those Happy Meals themselves.”

“What McDonald’s multi-billion dollar marketing machine represents is a fundamental restructuring of the family dynamic. Every time a parent has to say no to a child, it’s another let down, another way that a parent has to feel bad about not making that child happy.”

For the record, this morning we had to tell 18-month-old Baby Moron “no” about 75 times, and that was while he was still sleeping.  His daily activities are almost entirely taken up trying to do things he shouldn’t.  We could pile on a half a dozen “nos” about McDonald’s and not even notice.

But they’re only just getting started.

“Moreover, parents have a right to raise their children in a safe environment, without constantly worrying about predatory corporate marketing. And children have the right not to be preyed upon by a clown with a corporate agenda.”

Are there six more chilling words in the English language than “a clown with a corporate agenda?“  Well, other than, “Charlie Sheen is at the door.”

“But McDonald’s is loath to take responsibility, leaning on a series of age-old public relations myths, namely that ‘the corporation just gives consumers what they demand.’ It’s as if the corporation’s billion dollar marketing budget wasn’t aimed at influencing and creating that demand,…”

We really do have to do something to rid ourselves of this “myth” that we choose products and services of our own free will. We don't. According to the CAI, we are simply being manipulated by corporate marketing machines, and by “we” they mean “people who are not members of the CAI” as their superior education and intellect make them immune from McDonald’s Jedi mind tricks unlike you simple-minded fools who find a three-dollar lunch of a cheeseburger, fries and drink to be palatable, affordable, and convenient.

And we all know where McDonald’s marketing budget is aimed at influencing:

“…especially among those most vulnerable to the manipulations of marketing: children.”

“That’s why they are the most vulnerable to the marketing strategies of a character like Ronald McDonald.”

“…the Supreme Court has upheld reasonable restrictions on corporate advertising, especially to protect children, the most vulnerable of Americans.”

We think there’s going to be a quiz on this later.

But McDonald’s nefarious activities run far deeper. As exposed by the CAI:

“McDonald’s former CEO Fred Turner once explained, the corporation got into charity ‘for very selfish reasons. It was probably 99 percent commercial. It was an inexpensive and imaginative way of getting your name before the public and building a reputation to offset the image of selling 15-cent hamburgers.’ in other words, for McDonald’s, ‘corporate social responsibility’ is just branding and marketing by another name.”

We can’t be 100% certain, but we’re pretty sure this is the part where you are supposed to be shocked.

“Not only has McDonald’s been a pioneer in marketing products to children, it has been a pioneer in shaping supply chains to meet its demand for cheap, consistent, and long-lasting food.”

Again, we can’t be sure, but we believe they think that is a bad thing.

So, to sum up:

  • Ronald McDonald is killing children.
  • Members of the CAI are smarter than you.
  • McDonald’s sells cheap, consistent, long-lasting food.

Fire the clown.

Save the child.


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May 19, 2011 at 11:37 AM in Current Affairs, Health & Fitness | Permalink


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Let's hope that no one at CAI ever reproduces. We need to eliminate the stupid genes.

Posted by: TheOldMan | May 19, 2011 12:02:45 PM

So, you support heart disease, diabetes, animal welfare abuses, labor exploitation, unceasing environmental destruction, and the breakdown of our food system?


Posted by: Michael | May 19, 2011 1:01:47 PM

Have you had the fries?

Besides, McDonald's exploited my labor back when I was a young man, and by "exploited," I mean, "offered me a job at a competitive wage that I chose of my own free will to accept."

Talk about haters!

Posted by: Planet Moron | May 19, 2011 2:08:25 PM

So far the only thing that seems to be missing is the racial angle, but no doubt there are folks hard at work trying to come up with a way to prove that McDonalds is racist.

Posted by: bob | May 19, 2011 6:08:26 PM

I used to frequent a McD's in Virginia where I was often the only caucasian in the whole restaurant. I never realized how vulnerable I was (to heart disease and diabetes); thank you so much CAI!!!

Posted by: Marty | May 20, 2011 12:37:40 AM

OK! So where do I get some of those "15-cent hamburgers"?
Sounds like a deal to me. Have to watch every penny nowadays.

Posted by: barryjo | May 20, 2011 8:26:37 AM

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