Sunday, May 22, 2011
8807: A McMoral Dilemma.
Growing weary of the critics blasting the latest anti-Ronald McDonald movement as an attack on citizen’s rights and democracy. A particularly annoying response involves labeling Mickey D’s foes as “food moralists.” The term smacks of the covert handiwork of lobbyists and PR hacks bankrolled by the fast food industry. The recent Facebook/Edelman team-up was amateurish compared to the shady media manipulation routinely generated for clients like Mickey Ds.
Why is it wrong to question Ronald McDonald? Advertising icons that suffered quick deaths for targeting children with unhealthy products include Spuds MacKenzie and Joe Camel—and the majority of Americans approved the critters’ executions. The childhood obesity epidemic poses real dangers that may not be fully realized for decades. Is Ronald any different than Spuds and Joe?
Sure, it’s difficult to turn on a figure that has been beloved and trusted for generations. And the clown is certainly associated with positive initiatives such as charities and other philanthropic sponsorships. But it’s hardly unprecedented to see a familiar product or service proven to actually be dangerous; and as a result, take the necessary steps to eliminate the threat. It’s called progress.
Regarding the “food moralists” nonsense, a few points must be made. First, the stuff being hawked by characters like Ronald McDonald barely qualifies as food. Second, and more importantly, the situation would not require moralists if the fast food industry wasn’t regularly engaging in immoral behavior.
“Food moralists” is a huckster-created term ultimately used by morons. On the flipside, “fast food moralists” would constitute an oxymoron.