Thursday, September 20, 2012

McMarketing

Yesterday, the kids at our elementary school attended an assembly at which Ronald McDonald told them about the importance of giving back to one’s community. Yeah, I know, McDonald’s does a lot of fine charity work. That doesn’t change the fact that Ronald McDonald is a walking advertisement for a fast-food restaurant. (“Ronald McDonald appears as a community service,” the website says, “courtesy of your nearby McDonald’s Restaurant.”) Is the school unable to talk to kids about community service without the aid of a corporate marketing ploy?

For what it’s worth, I know at least one child who described Ronald as “creepy.” I agree.
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9 comments:

Billy Zelsnack said...

The other day my kindergartner came home with a half page advertisement for a bank and some other companies in his backpack. I guess there was something else about a run or something?

Rivka said...

They have time for an assembly featuring a corporate mascot, but they don't have time to play or to eat lunch? Huh.

Chris said...

Billy -- Ha, was it this? It is kind of hard to see past all the corporate logos to the actual event. Overall, Run for the Schools seems pretty inoffensive as a fundraiser, but I do think it would be nice if public school needs were funded by taxes.

Rivka -- I've thought that same thing. For people who obsess over squeezing as many instructional minutes as possible from the school day, they sure make some funny choices about how to use those minutes. The assumption seems to be that school programming -- no matter what it is -- is always more valuable than allowing kids free time.

KD said...

Ronald came to our school last year.

I'm amazed that in the decision making process to have him come to schools, no one seems to ask if this is really a good use of the school day, or if it is something parents want their kids to engage in.

At the very least, I think parents should be notified ahead of time, so they can have their kids opt out of this activity. Of course I heard about it after the fact.

Chris said...

KD – You were the first person who mentioned this phenomenon to me. It’s still hard for me to believe that school administrators wouldn’t recognize right away that this is objectionable. Who’s next, Count Chocula?

Casey Hinds said...

So far Ronald hasn't visited my daughters' school but he has been at other schools in our district. Our problem has been the Chick fil A cow which I wrote about here: http://kyhealthykids.com/2013/02/22/when-schools-become-ads/

Chris said...

Casey -- Wow, what a story. How dare you give the Chick-Fil-A Cow a hard time about promoting fast food in the classroom?

Here's the clickable link.

FedUpMom said...

I'm surprised they'd allow Chick-Fil-A reps into the classroom. They're politically right-wing; the owner came out against gay marriage. You should be able to get them out of school on account of the controversy. No public school wants that ...

Chris said...

FedUpMom -- On the other hand, that might depend on where you are, as Suzanne Lamb (who, like Casey, is from Kentucky) can testify...