(NEW YORK) — Don’t mess with Ronald McDonald.
That was the message Thursday from the fast food chain’s chief executive Don Thompson, who defended his company from attacks by the watchdog group, Corporate Accountability International, before a shareholders’ meeting.
Lately, CAI has been demanding that McDonald’s assess whether its attempts to add more nutritious items to its menu is working. Two years ago, the group wanted the company to retire its mascot, Ronald McDonald, claiming it was a blatant marketing scheme targeting kids.
Whether it’s true or not, the clown is still around and Thompson says he’s here to stay, telling shareholders, “We are not the cause of obesity. Ronald is not a bad guy. He’s about fun. He’s a clown. I’d urge you all to let your kids have fun, too.”
While Thompson insists McDonald’s is offering more healthy choices to the menu, the real concern of shareholders is the company’s declining sales.
As a result, Thompson says pricier items, such as the Angus burger, are getting axed, and more selections will be added to the Dollar Menu.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
John Newsome and Anne Woolsey, CNN