Ronald McDonald’s Charities – Fraudulant Giving = Cheap Advertising and Branding

While technically McDonalds is doing nothing illegal, a comprehensive report by by Michelle Simon is suggesting that the Ronald McDonald Charities brand does little to actually contribute to its charities but harvests heavily from the branding associations.

USA Today notes that:

“The 30-page report, funded by Corporate Accountability International and The Small Planet Fund, charges that McDonald’s is mostly using the charity as a branding device for its food sales because the corporation, itself, contributes so little to the charity. While McDonald’s reaps 100% of the “branded benefit” from the charity, it contributes only about 20% of the money, the report charges.”Ronald_McDonald_Charities_Report

Full report at this link

Some of the findings that emerged during this research cited in the report include:

• Promoting the McDonald’s brand unremittingly through Ronald McDonald House Charities, despite contributing only a fraction of the charity’s revenue.

• Taking undue credit for the generosity of its customers. For example, McDonald’s often claims the “donation box” contributions to Ronald McDonald Houses as its own.

• Selling unhealthy children’s menu items by linking their sale to very modest charitable giving.

• Profiting from marketing to children in schools under the guise of charity and education.

Michelle also noted that McDonald’s spent 25 times more in advertising than in contributions to the charities. Advertising that targets lower income black and Hispanic children citing that McDonald’s accounts for 25% of Spanish language fast food advertising.Additionally, while McDonald’s states that it does “responsible marketing”, the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University found that children’s exposure to fast food ads has increased from 2007 to 2009. During this time period, preschoolers saw 21 percent more ads for McDonald’s, and children in general viewed 26 percent more ads for McDonald’s.

How Good is This for Health?

While no one is anticipating that fast food would be healthy many less educated and informed consumers don’t realize just how detrimental to health a Mickey Dee meal can actually be.A typical “extra value meal,” for instance—Quarter Pounder with Cheese, medium fries, and medium Coke—contains 1,100 calories (more than half the recommended daily limit), 45 grams of fat (70 percent of the recommended daily limit), 66 grams of sugar, and 1,370 mg of salt (57 percent of the recommended daily limit.).Additionally, a growing number of studies have linked fast food consumption to major diseases such as heart disease and type-2 diabetes. With inputs such as reflected above should that be unexpected? I think not.

The Corporate Response

Upon learning of the report, Bridge Coffing, senior vice president of corporate relations, said in a statement to USA Today,“McDonald’s categorically rejects this self-serving and biased document and stands proud of the significant financial support and volunteer hours we have and will continue to provide to Ronald McDonald House Charities and other charities worldwide.”While, on its website, the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House, one of the nation’s largest with 75 rooms, notes, “although our House shares a brand name with McDonald’s Corporation, less than 10% of our annual $2 million budget comes as a result of financial contributions from the company’s local owner / operators.

“However, executives from Ronald McDonald House Charities say they wouldn’t exist without help from McDonald’s. “Ronald McDonald House Charities helps approximately 12,000 families every single night around the world,” says Sheila Musolino, chief operating officer of the charity. “This would not be possible without McDonald’s.”Well then, why the disconnect between the actual charity and Corporate I wonder.

One of them is well, to put it colloquially, lying or at least tweaking the truth a bit methinks.Something is rotten in the world of Mickey D it seems. And it doesn’t just seem to be limited to the low quality menu items we are discovering.

For more on the Corporate influence on our food chain and its overall impact see:


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