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 Entertainment

Men bring the moves, but ladies take charge in ‘Magic Mike XXL’

Fresh
14-overlay11

The film, which hits theaters July 1, follows 2012's surprise hit with Channing Tatum rejoining the Kings of Tampa, his rogue band of male entertainers.

in Entertainment

EL James takes ‘Fifty Shades’ of heat during Twitter Q&A

eljames

#AskELJames backfired in terrific style because of course it did.

in Entertainment

20 years after ‘Showgirls,’ Elizabeth Berkley comes ‘full circle’

berkley

The former "Saved by the Bell" actress starred as an exotic dancer in the film, which was initially slammed by critics and flopped at the box office.

in Music, Sports

Football star tackles stage invader at Zac Brown gig

jjwatt

Houston Texans star J.J. Watt turned security guard.