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 National

Thanksgiving grease cooks up plumbing disasters

Fresh
turkey

Thanksgiving is a royal pain in the U.S. drain.

in Sports

NFL offers Thanksgiving tripleheader on KPUG

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.

Tripleheader: Bears at Lions, Eagles at the Cowboys and the Seahawks at the 49ers in the finale! Tune it all in NOW on KPUG.

in National

Ebola survivors thankful for ‘second chance’

ebola

Six of the nine Ebola patients treated in the U.S. met for the first time.

in National

Thanksgiving travel at a 7-year high

gas

More than 46 million Americans are expected to travel over the holiday weekend.

in Black Friday, National

History of the holiday: Thanksgiving

14-overlay1

Thanksgiving celebrations date back to the first European settlements in America, but it wasn't until the 1860s that it was declared a national holiday.