New 'Happy' Mascot Dubbed McScary In Social Media
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[May 22, 2014]
By Mary Wisniewski
CHICAGO (Reuters) - McDonald's restaurant
chain says its new "Happy" mascot will bring "fun and excitement" to its
children's meals, but social media contend the toothy, red box-shaped
character will have the opposite effect.
Twitter responses to McDonald's mascot announcement on Monday
complain that the animated red Happy Meal box, with its cavernous
dark mouth and rows of large white teeth, is scary and will bring
children nightmares instead of joy.
"It's the meal that eats you," said one comment. Another said, "I
didn't want to sleep tonight anyways, it's cool."
The character will be introduced nationwide on Friday. Oak Brook,
Illinois-based McDonald's said in a statement that it will encourage
kids to enjoy healthy food choices, like fruit, vegetables and
In response to the criticism on social media, McDonald's spokeswoman
Lisa McComb noted that since 2009, the character has been "loved and
well-received by children and families in Latin America and Europe."
"Social media is a great place to have a conversation and express an
opinion, but not all comments reflect the broader view," McComb said
in an email on Tuesday.
The restaurant chain, which has its annual shareholders' meeting on
Thursday, has often been the focus of criticism over the fast-food
industry's penchant for offering indulgent, high-calorie food. In
recent years, the U.S. food industry in general has faced government
and consumer pressure to address the global obesity epidemic.
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In March 2012, McDonald's started automatically including apple
slices and a kid-size fry in every Happy Meal and Mighty Kids Meal.
This July, McDonald's will also start introducing "Go-GURT" low-fat
strawberry yogurt to children's meals.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; editing by Gunna Dickson)
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