McDonald’s has had an interesting few years. Although the company recently ditched the dreaded “pink slime” from its burgers, they’ve come under fire in the past for encouraging unhealthy eating habits in children and contributing to America’s growing obesity epidemic. The company, who’s tagline was once “I’m Lovin’ It,” was also criticized for it’s minority marketing campaigns which often saw blacks and latinos singing, dancing, and rapping about Micky D’s menu. Although they’ve seemed to back away from ads depicting stereotypical behavior, a new Happy Meal promotion has some wondering why the company still doesn’t get it.
On Tuesday, the site Racialicious shared a photo (via film critic Kartina Richardson) of McDonald’s latest kid’s meal promotion. The company has partnered with Mattel and is giving away Barbie dolls with its meals. It seems harmless, until you take a look at the ad.
The sign shows a brown-skinned girl dreaming to be like extremely blonde, blue-eyed, white Barbies dolls, and although Mattel has a slew of brown dolls, not one of them appears in the ad.
On its face, the sign is problematic on some many levels. Not only does it reenforce the idea that white women are the ideal, but it also plays into the notion that deep down, all brown girls really want to be white.
Although McDonald’s may not have considered the connotations its advertisement brought up, it’s hard to believe not ONE person on the marketing team saw anything wrong with the promotion before it was shipped to stores.
But what do you think of the ad? Have you seen it a McDonald’s near you?