News

McDonald’s new ‘Happy’ mascot dubbed McScary on social media

McDonald’s new ‘Happy’ mascot dubbed McScary on social media

McDONALD'S: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." Photo: Associated Press

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 low-fat dairy.

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 mascot announcement comes on the heels of the chain’s efforts to rebrand its popular “spokesclown,” Ronald McDonald.

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.

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)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Reports: Broncos WR Welker suspended for 4 games

Fresh
A football before the first half of an NFL preseason football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis.

Wes Welker is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy, according to published reports.

in Sports

49ers’ Harbaugh won’t tolerate domestic violence

Fresh
San Francisco 49ers' defensive tackle Ray McDonald (91) against the Dallas Cowboys in an NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011.

Jim Harbaugh gave stern comments about the topic Tuesday during his radio show on KNBR-AM, two days after 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald was arrested on felony domestic violence charges.

in Local Sports

Lynch has little to say ahead of Seahawks opener

Fresh
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, third from left, carries the ball on the final day of NFL football training camp, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, in Renton, Wash.

Lynch spoke with the media for the first time this season on Tuesday.

in Local Sports

2014-15 WWU Men’s golf preview

Fresh
western washington logo generic copy/wwu

WWU opens its season on Sept. 19-20 at the Saint Martin's Invitational. The Vikings host their 43rd annual tournament on Sept. 22-23 at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club.

in Local Sports

Former Seahawk Ware arrested on suspicion of DUI

Fresh
Seattle Seahawks' Spencer Ware (44) in action against the San Francisco 49ers in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Seattle. The Seahawks beat the 49ers 29-3.

Former Seattle Seahawks running back Spencer Ware has been arrested for investigation of driving under the influence.