Thanks to the well-intentioned corporate activist group, “Corporate Accountability International,” and its egg & ham-fisted attempt last week to coerce Ronald McDonald into retirement, McDonald’s Corporation was handed an unsolicited opportunity (and loads of free air time) to reposition the company as a protector of first amendment rights, and to re-launch its aging spokesclown as “the ambassador of good food.”
Although the grass-roots group gets props for tackling the childhood obesity issue, CAI was ill-advised to point the finger at McDonald’s as a leading obesity culprit; to attempt to dictate corporate policy; and to mess with Ronald.
Fat kids don’t drive themselves to McDonald’s; their fat parents do. If you want to influence corporate policy, get a seat on the company’s Board of Directors. And the McDonald’s clown is namesake of a charitable organization that helps kids who have cancer.
This was a historic triple-stupid play deserving of special recognition from the Public Relations Society of America. Perhaps they should have hired the PR guy who handles the Facebook account at Burson-Marsteller.