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 anyway, it’s cool.”
The character will be introduced nationwide today. Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald’s said in a statement that it would 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 had 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 on Tuesday.
The restaurant chain, which had its annual shareholders’ meeting yesterday, has often been the focus of criticism over the fast-food industry’s penchant for offering indulgent, high-calorie food. – Reuters