There are ethical issues and potential ramifications to consider in marketing, when unhealthy products (or
those that would be unhealthy when consumed in excess) are sold. Examples could include some of the
advertising used for sodas and sugary drinks, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and high-calorie
“junk food.” A particularly sensitive topic is the issue of marketing to children. Think about how
perceptions of “healthy,” what business practices are socially acceptable, and where responsibilities lie
have changed over time. Several very good articles on this subject have been identified for you in the
South University Online Library and are listed below. Review those and conduct your own research on
this topic. Then respond to the following:
� Ronald McDonald has been a staple in advertising McDonald’s fast food restaurants since the 1960s.
What ethical issues do you see in using Ronald McDonald or McDonald’s new mascot, Happy, to market
� Is it ethical to use either Ronald or Happy in McDonald’s charitable efforts? What issues concern you?
� Should McDonald’s and other food sellers do more to make their menus healthy?
� What changes do you think should be made to try and resolve some of these issues, and how would
you go about implementing them?
Be sure to cite appropriately from your reading/research in your post and responses. As you respond to
your peers, debate the resolution of ethical dilemmas based upon your reading, research, and
experience; consider the issues from multiple perspectives and the problems that can arise when trying to
resolve these issues.
Should America Fire Ronald McDonald?
SHOULD AMERICA FIRE RONALD MCDONALD? 2
Should America Fire Ronald McDonald?
This essay responds to a variety of issues concerning Ronald McDonald. It examines the
ethical issues that this writer sees in the use of McDonald’s new mascot to market to children. It
also assesses whether it is ethical to use either Roland McDonald or the mascot in McDonald’s
charity efforts and identifies the issues that are of interest on the matter. This response also
answers the question whether McDonald’s and other food sellers should do more to make their
menus healthy. The changes that should be made in attempts to resolve some of these issues and
how I would go about implementing them are also discussed.
The ethical issues on the use of McDonald’s new mascot, Happy, to market to children
are that advertising to children makes it difficult to make the right choices for healthy foods. The
use of the mascot to advertise to children makes them form unhealthy opinions about food items
because as a result of their lack of exposure they are susceptible to different forms of influence
(Bakil and Vitell, 2009).
It is not ethical to use either McDonald or the mascot in McDonald’s charity efforts. The
reasons behind this are that advertising to children promotes unhealthy worldviews such as
materialism, consumerism as well as provides misleading information. The gains that would be
achieved by offering charity would be eroded by the negative consequences of children
consuming unhealthy foods that could expose them to health problems such as obesity (Bakil and
SHOULD AMERICA FIRE RONALD MCDONALD? 3
Vitell). Other issues that are of interest in the matter are the long-term effects of destructive ads
and the economic costs of lifestyles that are motivated by advertising campaigns.
McDonald’s and other food sellers should do more to make their menus healthy. Healthy
menus would be beneficial to children because they help them to have strong bones, have a
healthy weight, stay active, and concentrate at school (Nutritionist Resource, 2016).
The changes that should be implemented in trying to resolve some of these issues are
promoting healthy eating among children and restricting the access of certain ads from children.
The way in which I would go about implementing them is through detailed explanations to
children on why they should make right diet choices and regulating their access to media outlets
that promote unhealthy foods.
In conclusion, it is evident from this essay that food selling business is a complex
undertaking. The ethical issues identified and discussed in this essay demonstrate that skill is
required in the running of food selling enterprises especially regarding marketing.
SHOULD AMERICA FIRE RONALD MCDONALD? 4
Bakir, A., & Vitell, S. J. (2010). The ethics of food advertising targeted toward children: Parental
viewpoint. Journal of Business Ethics, 91(2), 299-311.
Healthy Eating for Kids. (2016). Nutritionist Resource.