McDonald’s Happy Meals mascot called scary, creepy

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A new McDonald’s mascot to promote Happy Meals and healthy eating drew a quick — and often negative — response on social media. But the Oak Brook company will stand behind “Happy.”

The animated Happy Meal box was labeled “McScary” and called creepy on Twitter after McDonald’s announced the mascot would debut in the U.S. The character was announced along with the company adding yogurt as a side option with its Kids Meals and Might Kids Meals.

“Social media is a great place to have a conversation and express an opinion, but not all comments reflect the broader view,” spokeswoman Lisa McComb told Reuters.

The character Happy has been around since 2009 in Europe and Latin America.

McDonald’s said it will begin offering Go-Gurt low-fat strawberry yogurt as a side option with Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals beginning July 4. Adding yogurt is a response to customers asking “to have more variety and wholesome options for kids to enjoy in their Happy Meals,” said Julie Wenger, McDonald’s senior director of U.S. marketing.

Later this year, McDonald’s will also only promote milk, juice or water as a beverage choice with Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals on menu boards and in-restaurant and external advertising and communications.

In March 2012, McDonald’s started including apple slices and a kid-size fry in every Happy Meal and Mighty Kids Meal.

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