Posts Tagged ‘pester power’

Campaign to retire Ronald McDonald

April 6, 2010

On March 31st, Corporate Accountability International launched a campaign asking McDonald’s to retire its mascot Ronald McDonald. 

http://retireronald.org/

This organisation states that there are several arguments to justify asking for Ronald’s retirement, primarily that this character has been used for nearly 50 years to lure children to eating less healthy food.

A survey conducted among a representative sample of the US adult population, in November 2009, showed that almost half of those surveyed agreed that it was time to retire Ronald.

This is the link to the full background report by Corporate Accountability International for those who are interested. 

http://retireronald.org/files/Retire%20Ronald%20Expose.pdf

Note: I am posting this bit of news and report not to demonise Ronald McDonald specifically (other characters are used in a similar way by other food companies), but rather to raise awareness that around the world adult carers are becoming concerned regarding the ‘unethical’ marketing ploys used by food companies to target young consumers.

Children are considered a vulnerable audience and companies often use various settings which children typically frequent, or where children spend long hours, to expose them to a variety of not-so-nutritious food. These companies also take advantage of children’s pester power to ‘force’ parents to buy certain food products.

You might ask “Is there something we should be doing ourselves at an individual or community level to curb this type of marketing to children?” 

Here  is a quote from the Retire Ronald Expose to get you thinking (p.23):

‘• Support local policy efforts, like eliminating all marketing, advertising and sales of fast food from school grounds, property in immediate proximity to schools, children’s libraries, playgrounds and other places where children visit frequently as well as hospitals serving children;

 • Support international policy efforts that encourage national governments to respond to this growing public health crisis by curbing the advertisement, marketing and promotion of unhealthy food products to children and young people.’

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