Disconcerting disclosure on McDonald's site

My friend Jason Tester noticed this on the front page of Ronald.com, an official McDonald's site. While it's good that they have such a prominent disclosure statement, it somehow feels like a parody of itself, very Adbusters-ish. The period after "Hey kids" feels particularly disconcerting.

UPDATE: Responding to a request in the comments from scifijazznik, Rob B created this freakish bit of Photoshoppery.


      1. I think I just coughed up my spleen from laughing too hard. That is most excellent. I bow to you.

      2. Way to add a little extra creepy sauce into something already creeptacular.

        /skin crawling/

  1. I don’t know – I kind of like it. Rather honest and straightforward. Not at all the sort of behavior I expect from a corporation.

  2. Well, I have no idea where that comes from, but now I guess where the “Hey Kids! This isn’t advertising!” from this site comes from.

    There’s a little chance that it is the other way around, but I don’t think so.

  3. I like it too. I doubt it will make a difference, but I like it.

    * * *

    One thing that has kreept me out over the years: The change-over in Ronald actors.

    I’m old enough to remember the first Ronald TV actor. The guy after him had a LONG run. The guy after him, not as long but substantial.

  4. This is a fairly common practice for the past couple of years. It’s meant to make kids more aware that they are being marketing to, and to help them avoid being “tricked” into buying a product.

    You’ll see it’s also on the BK Kids Club site: http://www.clubbk.com/

    1. The same way the “this will kill you” messages are meant to make smokes more aware of the carcinogenous nature of cigarettes? It doesn’t really make a difference whether you tell the kids its advertising or not, your still programing them to go and eat McDonalds.

      1. I know it’s not the best message, I can’t say I fully understand the logic myself (if we really want to make kids “aware” of it, we’d probably end up labeling everything in the store), but there you have it.

    2. @auilix, Yes, indeed. But the combination of the text, the punctuation, and Ronald with his big grin and outstretched arms…. is just freaky.

      1. Again, it’s not that they have a disclosure statement that I find interesting or unsettling. It’s the context. And punctuation.

  5. It might be tongue in cheek. I know there is some group that wants them to discontinue the Ronald McDonald character, because it “encourages children to eat McDonalds,” as if that wasn’t the whole point.

    1. I feel like I have my own personal genie. Except that it’s one wish granted three times….


  6. Looks like some kind of Situationist détournement. I’d like to think this was the result of some kind of rouge McDonald’s employee.

  7. The period after “Hey kids” feels particularly disconcerting.

    More than the missing comma after “Hey”? Shocking!

  8. can’t sleep clown will eat me can’t sleep clown will eat me can’t sleep clown will eat me can’t sleep clown will eat me can’t sleep clown will eat me can’t sleep clown will eat me

  9. I’m curious because I don’t have kids. Do people really think that the Ronald McDonald character is responsible for obesity in children? I mean, he’s not coming over and driving them to McDonald’s. When I was a kid, my parents had no problem saying “NO” when I wanted something that was bad for me, or that they didn’t want to give me. I don’t mean to be snarky…I really am curious about this whole “retire Ronald” thing.

    1. Mellowknees,I caused a collected gasp in my health class once, when I said I didn’t think McD’s was intentionally an evil corp for having a clown spokesman and playground on their premises. My point was, that the food was junk before America practiced nutrition, and the clown was there as well. Their point was, the clown draws in families to take advantage of, by selling them cheap, unhealthy food. Oh well, as Oderus Urungus once said, “Baby, you can’t raise a nation.”

  10. To me it comes off as a sort of metapropaganda, like an ad for advertising itself. The text doesn’t seem to be describing the image, or commenting on it, but rather gives me the impression that it’s being spoken by Ronald: “Hey kids! This is advertising and AIN’T IT FUN? Everybody loves advertising! Whee!”

  11. This actually made me laugh out loud. But I guess it is required. Still looks weird.

  12. It isn’t what their saying, but why they say it.

    If they are required to place even the simple tag, it means somewhere, somehow is this corporate country, someone has recognized that the reason for a message needs to be regulated.

    I wish the had the power to do more to limit advertisers. Advertising is the anathema of free speech.

  13. As for the punctuation, sadly they’ve missed out on the comma before a direct address. This is pretty damned important in English, since there’s a huge difference between “Eat, my friends” and “Eat my friends”. It’s even more egregious since the site is aimed at kids.

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