Beheading Ronald McDonald: Constructive Criticism or 'Stunt in Poor Taste'?

Feb 17, 2011
Megan Bedard is a sucker for sustainable agriculture and a good farmers market, she likes writing about food almost as much as eating it.
With no spokespeople to save him, Ronald McDonald lost his head. (Image: YouTube)

Last week, anti-McDonald's activists in Finland sent a dark message to the burger franchise: Answer our concerns about your food, or we'll kill Ronald McDonald.

The group calls itself the Food Liberation Army (FLA). In an unlikely admission, its members claim to love McDonald's food. The problem is that they "can no longer watch silent while the food we love is being destroyed and brought to shame because of greed and indifference."

In PSA YouTube videos produced by FLA, a "kidnapped" Ronald appears onscreen cloaked in a black hood. His cheery trademark wave is in strange contrast to the masked men and women behind him.

Putting Mickey D's to the test, an FLA soldier poses a series of questions, saying, "We hope that your answers will make you understand the dilapidation of the food culture we love and the appropriate measures." 

Cut to Friday, February 11: The Food Liberation Army's questions have gone unanswered.

McDonald's spokespeople chose to respond publicy, the Consumerist reports. "McDonald's is always available to engage in constructive conversations with our customers, stakeholders and the media," the company said in a statement.

The FLA followed through with its threat, beheading a prostrate Ronald McDonald. The Consumerist says the chopped clown was a replica, substituted after police arrested two members of the FLA and confiscated the stolen Ronald.

The clever stunt was chock full of enough shock value to make the rounds on the Internet. But was it constructive? Is the FLA approach effective in taking on a global corporate behemoth like Mickey D's?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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