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(US) Reviving Ronald McDonald

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    When it comes to Ronald McDonald, McDonald s doesn t clown around. It won t even admit that there is more than one Ronald. For four months now, McDonald s
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2003
      When it comes to Ronald McDonald, McDonald's doesn't clown around. It
      won't even admit that there is more than one Ronald.

      For four months now, McDonald's Corp. executives have been meeting at
      headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., trying to decide just how to script a
      Ronald revival. The Golden Arches is mostly mum on the matter, saying only
      that the 40-year-old character will start showing up more -- and in
      unexpected places.

      The careful choreography of this clown's every step shows the McDonald's
      machine in high gear. No detail is too small. In 1999, McDonald's ad
      agency Leo Burnett hired a stylist to refashion Ronald's wavy red hair,
      and it spent months studying whether to increase the width of the red
      stripes on his socks.

      So protective is McDonald's of the character's mystique that men who play
      Ronald are never to admit that they do. Ronalds in costume aren't to say
      who they are in civilian life.
      McDonald's conducts extensive background checks on Ronald candidates, but
      that hasn't always prevented mishaps. One former Ronald is a vegetarian
      who has since joined forces with animal-rights group People for the
      Ethical Treatment of Animals to chide the chain.

      "I feel badly about what I've done with young people," says Geoffrey
      Giuliano, who played Ronald in Canada in the early 1980s. "I was the happy
      face on something that was horren- dous."

      full story:

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