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Not Lovin’ It: Moms and McDonalds Don’t Mix

Originally published by Huffington Post on 05/08/2013

On February 10, 2012, Ronald McDonald held court in a packed elementary school auditorium. Ronald was visiting the Lexington, Kentucky elementary school as part of his sweep of that state. The visits are meant to teach “the value of leadership and community involvement,” says Ronald, and kick off fundraising drives for Ronald McDonald Houses. According to WheresRonald.com, he’s planning to visit at least 117 more schools there this year.

Could you imagine sending your kid off to school only to discover an all-school assembly has turned into an advertisement opportunity for a fast food chain? Today, junk food marketing happens in so many places, and in so many ways, that it’s often behind parents’ backs and beyond our control. This school assembly is just one way McDonald’s does marketing.

This Mother’s Day, moms are telling McDonald’s, with the help of the advocacy group Corporate Accountability International, that they’re not lovin’ it.

Marketing junk food and drink to kids is big business. McDonald’s alone spent close to $1 billion on advertising in the United States in 2011 with 40 percent of this on marketing directly to kids, according to researchers at Yale University’s Rudd Center.