Oooooh, someone’s in trouuuuble! Chastisements can come in tiny packages, as one nine-year-old girl proved at today’s annual McDonald’s shareholders meeting. She took to the mic with a pretty clear message for Mickey D’s CEO Don Thompson: “It would be nice if you stopped trying to trick kids into wanting to eat your food all the time.” Oh, snap.
The straight-talking little lady was the first one to step up once the meeting was opened to questions, reports NPR. She traveled from British Columbia with her mother as part of a contingent from watchdog group Corporate Accountability International.
“We want them to stop their predatory marketing to kids,”explained one of the national campaign organizers with the group. That same group tried to convince McDonald’s to retire Ronald McDOnald as its mascot, ostensibly because his terrifying clown self is so closely linked to children.
In reply to the little girl’s comment, CEO Thompson defended McDonald’s recent efforts to provide healthier options for everyone, including kids.
“We sell a lot of fruits and veggies and are trying to sell even more,” he said, calling her “brave” for speaking up during a brief chat later. He also added later that he’s a big fan of Ronald, and said the company isn’t trying to get around parents to pitch food straight to kids.
“We are not the cause of obesity,” Thompson said. “We are not marketing unjustly to kids…. . Ronald is not a bad guy. He’s about fun. He’s a clown. I’d urge you to all let your kids have fun, too.”
You run into Ronald in your darkest fever dreams and let me know if it’s fun for you, Thompson.