Earlier today it was reported that several Ohio hamburger joints had lined up to reward everyman hero Charles Ramsey with free burgers before his favorite fast food chain, McDonald’s had even followed up on its promise to get in touch with him. If that was the worst PR hit that the country’s biggest burger chain took on a random Thursday, well, big deal, right?
However, McDonald’s also hosted its annual shareholders meeting in Illinois today, and CEO Don Thompson, who hasn’t even had his gig for a year, was put on the spot by a 9-year old girl named Hannah Robertson. Hannah’s mother, Kia, is an activist for healthier food for children, and the young girl appears to be a baked chip off the old block.
“There are things in life that aren’t fair — like when your pet dies,” said Hannah, whose voice never wavered. “I don’t think it’s fair when big companies try to trick kids into eating food. It isn’t fair that so many kids my age are getting sick,” she said — blaming McDonald’s for unfairly targeting kids with advertisements for food that isn’t good for them.
Hannah ended her time-limited comments, made during the meeting’s question-and-answer session, by pointedly but politely asking: “Mr. Thompson, don’t you want kids to be healthy so they can live a long and healthy life?” (Via USA Today)
Thompson responded by saying that McDonald’s does not sell “junk food” and he played the “what’s good for the goose” card by claiming that his kids also eat McDonald’s. The CEO also denied that McDonald’s is some evil giant that is sneaking into schools and tricking kids into eating big buckets of fries.
“We’re not marketing to schools,” he said point blank. “We don’t do that.”
“We are not the cause of obesity,” Thompson said. “We are not marketing unjustly to kids. Ronald is not a bad guy. … He’s about fun.” (Via NPR)
Ronald may not be a bad guy, but the Hamburglar is. I don’t know how that guy keeps getting out of jail.