McDonald’s says it won’t retire Ronald

Posted May 20, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.

Ronald-Web.jpgJamie Gordon, a member of the watchdog group protesting Ronald McDonald, dresses as a clown as she gets signatures outside Leo Burnett’s office in Chicago on Wednesday, May 19. (Alex Garcia/Chicago Tribune)

By Wailin Wong | McDonald’s Corp. Chief Executive Jim Skinner was unequivocal in his
support of company mascot Ronald McDonald, who came under fire from two
investors at the company’s annual meeting Thursday.

“Ronald McDonald is not retiring,” Skinner said, prompting the audience
to applaud. Skinner added sternly: “He is a force for good…he does
not hawk food.”

Deborah Lapidus, senior organizer at Corporate Accountability
International, had called for the retirement of Ronald McDonald and the end
of marketing to children

At the entrance of the McDonald’s campus, costumed activists from Corporate Accountability waved signs at arriving attendees in a reprise of the protest they held Wednesday in downtown Chicago.
Lapidus’ remarks during the meeting were met with boos from the audience.
Later in the meeting, a retired physician also asked for the company to stop using Ronald McDonald. This time, audience members called out, “No, no,” from their seats.
Other shareholders were effusive in their praise of the company, including one man who said he likes McDonald’s coffee and requested that a decaf latte be added to the menu. Chief operating officer Don Thompson said demand for decaf specialty, espresso-based drinks appeared to be tepid when the company studied the issue a few years ago, but that McDonald’s could revisit the matter.

A “say on pay” proposal failed to pass at McDonald’s annual shareholders meeting.
The resolution, which would have given investors an advisory vote on executive compensation, garnered just 40.8 percent support in a preliminary tally at the meeting, held Thursday morning at McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook.
Proposals from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society advocating a different method of slaughter for chickens and the greater use of cage-free eggs in the U.S. also failed to pass. Each of those resolutions received less than 5 percent support.



  1. Randi May 20, 2010 at 11:04 a.m.

    Sooooooooooooo – We need to ban every clown?? Get serious – Parents make the food choices for their children – and if they are overridden by their kids, that is just a small sign of the problems to comes!!

  2. Darkwater May 20, 2010 at 11:09 a.m.

    Though I don’t eat at McDonalds anymore, this protest is stupid!

  3. seany May 20, 2010 at 11:10 a.m.

    i’m glad mc donald’s didn’t cave into these nuts. it comes down to personal responsibility and parenting. my child likes mc d’s fries, burgers, and toys. she’s not fat, cause we don’t eat their all the time, and she is active. GET A LIFE PEOPLE

  4. dhaab May 20, 2010 at 11:13 a.m.

    Yes, by all means, let’s continue to support a clown that encourages young children to eat poisonous food. What a country.

  5. 007 May 20, 2010 at 11:15 a.m.

    Good for McDonald’s.
    Until Ronald starts dragging kids into the restaurants and forcing them to eat the food at gunpoint, it’s the PARENTS that need to control this. They like to whine that advertising is the cause, but the reality is that they’re too lazy to cook at home.

  6. Chris May 20, 2010 at 11:20 a.m.

    You have to be kidding me. Some people have way too much free time.

  7. DB May 20, 2010 at 11:24 a.m.

    What about the good that is done at Ronald McDonald House and the children helped?

  8. Wardog May 20, 2010 at 11:30 a.m.

    That clown doesn’t make kids go to Mcdonald’s. The parents bring their kids to Mcdonald’s. I am tired of fat people blaming clowns and super sized portions for them being fat. I know I know its not your fault you are fat. Whatever.

  9. Sad May 20, 2010 at 11:41 a.m.

    message to parents if your kids wants Mikey Dee’s tell them no if you think it’s unhealthy simple ain’t it……any questions?

  10. Webster May 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Funny how the “clown” holding the banner in the photo looks obese. What a stupid protest. Jamie Gordon should be dressed like a fat soccer mom driving a minivan, and protesting that!

  11. really?? May 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Seriously? If clowns were so successful at influening children’s behavior, lets retire Ronald, and make him the spokesman agains drugs, gangs, and all other unhealthy life choices. There, all childhood problems solved!! Congradulations guys, you’ve dicovered the magic wand for all parents to solve all thier problems!!!
    (BTW, how sucessful has that little DARE lion been at decreasing drug use?)
    Kids don’t go there because of Ronald. Kids go there for the food and the toy. If that’s what your kid wants and you don’t want them to have McD’s, take them to Toys R Us, and give them a salad.
    What is wrong with people nowadays????

  12. Dan May 20, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Good for Mcdonalds! These people are weirdos.
    And how do they have time in their day to protest a clown? I have to work about 8 hours a day…

  13. John May 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    You’re kidding me right? you have nothing better than protest a clown, get a life

  14. jo May 20, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    when will these wack jobs get the clue. kids eat what their parents allow. its not just a CHILD obesity problem here, their darn parents are fat too!!! give the kids some darn exercise instead of sitting inside on their computers and playing video games. my nephew is in 1st grade and last week they had NACHOS at lunch. yes, NACHOS!!!!! the blame mcdonalds for their choices outside of school, yet they are served trash at school too!!!

  15. anthony May 20, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    How many people have and will die today to gun violence? These people are protesting a clown and how it may encourage children to eat a hamburger. Is their message “Pack a Gun, Not a Burger”?

  16. mike May 20, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    remember when we were kids and ronald was in all of the commercials, yet we werent an obese nation then. He isnt even in the commercials like he was in the 80s, yet people go after mcdonalds. What about what they are served at schools, whats available in vending machines, the lack of PE in school. WHy arent they blaming cereal commercials. That stuff is loaded with sugar!

  17. Bianca May 20, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    The toys nor Rondald are making children obese, parents are. My niece and nephew go to Mcdonalds on occasion and my sister always gets them a side of apples instead of fries and water with their burger, while this is still not completely healthy, I see no problem with eating this meal on occasion.
    Mcdonalds has choices. If these people are really concerned about childhood obesity they should consider educating parents on nutrition instead of a ostracizing a clown.

  18. WOW! May 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Instead of banning Ronald McDonald, try banning XBOX, Playstations, computers, and TV all together. They are the true reason why these kids are fat! They sit in front of a TV screen all day/night instead of doing physical activity! Let’s also blame the schools for cutting out P.E. and giving unhealthy lunches. what a crock of S*#T!

  19. Brad May 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I eat at McDonalds several times a week, and I am an in-shape weightlifter. McDees doesnt make you fat, over-eating does. GO RONALD!

  20. Richard S. May 20, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Based on the mindset of these protesters, I guess they should now focus their sites on Mickey Mouse, Pluto and Cinderella. After all these iconic characters are responsible for making kids want to go to Disney.

  21. Innocent III May 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    “Yes, by all means, let’s continue to support a clown that encourages young children to eat poisonous food.”
    “Poisonous food”? At first I thought this was over the top, but, then I realized it is all to true.
    After all, every child eats. And eventually, all flesh born of woman shall die.
    And so, clearly, food is poisonous.
    But, what would you suggest as an alternative?

  22. Enough May 20, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Can you people worry about your own lives???
    I’m gonna take the family to mcdonalds for dinner tonight! You know what, we are all thin, healthy, happy people. You liberals just want to run everyones life. While you are the most miserable people.
    Go away and leave us alone!!!

  23. Sherlock May 20, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Skinner added sternly: “He is a force for good…he does not hawk food.”
    Ronald McDonald is a spokes-clown for a fast food corporation that sells hamburgers and french fries. How is that not “hawking food?”

  24. Seth Scooner May 20, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Yeah, those two investors aren’t complaining when they receive their dividend checks though now are they? $0.55 a share to be paid this June…Ronald McDonald is an institution…leave him alone!

  25. Seth Scooner May 20, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Yeah, those two investors aren’t complaining when they receive their dividend checks though now are they? $0.55 a share to be paid this June…Ronald McDonald is an institution…leave him alone!

  26. glj May 20, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    I guess next they will be going after Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, Captain Crunch,the Pillsbury doughboy, Betty Crocker etc. Why not protest the King from Burger King who in commercials teaches that it’s okay to break in and steal? Thousands (millions?) of families have been helped through Ronald McDonald houses. May Ronald continue to reign as McDonald’s happiness ambassador!

  27. FatNSassy May 20, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Unbelievable that while the oil continues to spill in the Gulf in one of the most catastrophic disasters of all time, we are worried about something as stupid as Ronal McDonald. Obviously, the American public has yet to realize how their lives will be impacted by this event. The carcinogens in the oil which will be spread far and wide across the world will kill the kids much quicker than hamburgers or a few extra pounds.

  28. T-Bone May 20, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    How about we protest the whole I ordered a medium soda and you’re giving me a barrel of coke? Uniform cup sizes for everyone!!!! People for the Uniformity of Cup Sizes, or PUCS!!

  29. honnus May 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Yeah……like young children go off to McD’s by themselves and pay for their own food… sould like a weak parent.

  30. SharonD May 20, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Wah, wah, wah. Hey, Ms. Lapidus, if you really want to retire Ronald, do it the honest way instead of trying to bend someone to your will. Open a fast-food restaurant serving healthy, delicious food, compete hard, and drive McD out of business: show them how it’s done.

  31. Tom May 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    It’s too easy to take your complaint to a clown than to the parents. Don’t parents have ANY responsiblity to THEIR childrens upbringing any more?

  32. SharonD May 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    dhaab | May 20, 2010 11:13 AM | Reply
    Yes, by all means, let’s continue to support a clown that encourages young children to eat poisonous food. What a country.
    - – - – -
    What do you mean by “let’s?” No one is asking you to support anything, so stop trying to imply that you’re some kind of martyr.
    There’s nothing any more poisonous about McDonald’s food than the food you put on your own table, but there’s something intellectually dishonest about your libelous remark. Is that the way you think we should encourage young children?

  33. Frank Watson May 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Good. I can’t stand the food, but I like Ronald.

  34. les May 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    This is ridiculous how is the clown promoting unhealthy eating or obesity in children. PARENTS need to take responsibility for their children obesity. They are the one’s going to the restaurant and buying the food. They are the one who has the right and the authority to tell the child no. I think the parents and the organizations who are claiming that Ronald McDonald should retire; should be the one taking a class on how to feed their children healthy foods. They should take responsibility for their own action instead of trying to put the blame on someone else.

  35. Richard May 20, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Did the same angry Tea Party activist just post 20 variations on the same poorly informed rant about “PARENTS needing to take responsibility?” Of course they do! And the fact is parents aren’t any less responsibility today then they were 50 years ago. Today they are better informed about how poor McDonald’s-style fast food is. Yet 1 in 3 kids are still going to get diabetes in their lifetime. Now, a handful of angry activists can rant against the need to limit marketing to kids as if one of the great problems of our day was a problem with a handful of “fat, lazy” parents, but why our kids are getting sick is more complicated than that…and it’s time to wise-up and retire the clown…not to mention other super-funded ad efforts that aim to supplant parental messaging with corporate manipulation.

  36. hUH May 20, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Richard- take your medication. this has nothing to do with tea parties. It has to do with self responsiblity and taking away freedoms of PRIVATE busines and citizens. Anyone can say anything about what individuals don’t like other people doing…….well it’s a free country. And anyone who is out protesting Ronald McDonald should be unemployed….which obviously they are. You are so brainwashed and obviously never have picked up a history book. I suggest turning off the your basement blogs and wake up!

  37. 007 May 20, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    richard, it’s called “common sense”. Lots of people have it, hence the similar sentiment (I believe you’d call it “ranting”).
    Someday, if we’re lucky, you’ll develop some common sense too.

  38. Dorothy May 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Stopping the marketing of junk food to kids seems pretty common sense to me, James Bond :) I also don’t quite see how “personal freedoms” are being robbed by calling for an end to a practice that contributes to making so many of our children sick. This group has a right, as Huh says, to give junk food corporations a piece of their mind. That is what they are doing so far as I can tell! Thank you, Richard, for bringing the conversation back to the real point here, which is the wellness of our kids.

  39. PJB863 May 20, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I’m as liberal as they come, but this is ridiculous. It’s up to the parents. If they are unable to take responsibility for their childrens’ diets, they need to take a good look in the mirror to see what the problem is.
    Also, it strikes me that most of the advertising involving the clown is on TV. Do these same people not take responsibility for what their kids watch on TV?
    So we have people who do not take responsibility for what their kids eat, nor monitor what they’re watching on TV (or the computer, radio, etc.), yet it’s someone else’s fault when their kid gets fat, lazy, etc. GET OVER IT!

  40. sue z q May 20, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    I love Hector!! Long live RONALD MCDONALD!

  41. LeeAnn Bailey May 20, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Let me make a sugestion go find something worth changing. Leave Ronald alone! My children and grandchildren love him. Get a life.

  42. Bears Fan 2010 May 21, 2010 at 8:25 a.m.

    Run your company the way you see fit. Do let a bunch of bleeding heart liberals show you a better way……..they don’t know it.

  43. Bears Fan 2010 May 21, 2010 at 8:31 a.m.

    I have started a bleed heart liberal group…..HELP EVERYTHING WITH EYES…….Our slogan is “LOOK FOR A BETTER WAY”…………which means that McDonalds, “We insist that you take the potatoes out of your French Fries” Who knows what those potatoes might see for the world if you did not make them into French Fries?

  44. Angela Watkins May 21, 2010 at 9:34 a.m.

    This is ridiculous with the problems in todays society who in there right minds would want to get rid of Ronald. The parents pull in the parking lot every other night and buy the food not Ronald forcing them to eat it. find something of importance to focus these energies on . Get a Life.

  45. Joey Bagadonuts May 21, 2010 at 11:04 a.m.

    I’m glad Ronnie hanging around. If he would have been let go, then I would have blamed it of course on G.W. Bush.