Should America Fire Ronald McDonald?
There are ethical issues and potential ramifications to consider in marketing, when unhealthy products (or those that would be unhealthy when consumed in excess) are sold. Examples could include some of the advertising used for sodas and sugary drinks, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and high-calorie “junk food.” A particularly sensitive topic is the issue of marketing to children. Think about how perceptions of “healthy,” what business practices are socially acceptable, and where responsibilities lie have changed over time.
Several articles on this subject have been identified for you in the South University Online Library and are listed below. Review those and conduct your own research on this topic. Then respond to the following:
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- Ronald McDonald has been a staple in advertising McDonald’s fast food restaurants since the 1960s. What ethical issues do you see in using Ronald McDonald or McDonald’s new mascot, Happy, to market to children?
- Is it ethical to use either Ronald or Happy in McDonald’s charitable efforts? What issues concern you?
- Should McDonald’s and other food sellers do more to make their menus healthy?
- What changes do you think should be made to try and resolve some of these issues, and how would you go about implementing them?
Be sure to cite appropriately from your reading/research in your post and responses. As you respond to your peers, debate the resolution of ethical dilemmas based upon your reading, research, and experience; consider the issues from multiple perspectives and the problems that can arise when trying to resolve these issues.
You may use these references as you begin researching this assignment:
- Bakir, A., & Vitell, S. J. (2010). The ethics of food advertising targeted toward children: Parental viewpoint. Journal of Business Ethics, 91(2), 299–311. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-009-0084- 2
- Beaubien, G. (2011). Ronald McDonald’s role reduced in image revamp. Public Relations Strategist, 17(1), 27.
- Hansen, D. (2006, June 5). Ronald McDonald fronts 2010 Olympic fitness pitch. The Vancouver Sun.
- McDonald’s gives Ronald makeover for healthier image. (2005, June 10). Kamloops Daily News.
- McDonald’s introduces new mission and image for Ronald McDonald. (2014). Food and Beverage Close-Up.