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.

Is this McDonalds ad racist?

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? 

89 Comments

  1. I usual see these links and really think people are just over analyzing it, but this ad actually is risque and sending some messages that may mess with young girl’s self esteem. To the people black people who say she doesn’t look black- we come in so many shades, shapes, and looks it’s kind of ridiculous for you not to realize that girl is black. 2 black people can have a fair skinned child, but it does not work the other way around- many non us blacks have blue eyes or blonde hair as well- this child is black and this ad is wack.

    - a black guy who also looks non black

  2. princess

    I feel that this ad is intentional and used to stir up controversy. Most corporations do this when doing subliminal messages. This is a disgrace and very sad but it is to be expected b/c they have nothing to lose so they think why not use a little “mixed girl” dreaming of what her life “could” be like! I mean come on lets be honest here if they wouldve used a darker skinned girl then that wouldve been a little to noticeable to the eye am i right? So they did what most big businesses do instead of using a darker skin person in a subliminal message use someone mixed b/c thats the next closes thing to black. One last thing when u see clothing ad’s like The childrens Place,or Gap what’s the one race u see and if its a black kid model what is there skin tone??

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