‘Scary’ Happy Meal mascot criticized on twitter

Posted at 5:16 AM, May 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-21 07:20:17-04

By Patrick M. Sheridan

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — McDonald’s tweeted a photo of the new Happy Meal mascot, saying: “Say hello to our newest friend, Happy!”

But within hours, the new square-faced red and yellow mascot with big white teeth was scaring away people on Twitter and had become the butt of jokes.

@DrZombield said: THAT! Is scary!

@CraigGrannell warned: “HE WILL EAT YOU ALIVE! RUN!”

@Naive_Steve came up with his own tag-line: “Happy”, “It’s the meal that eats you.”

And @jrichardmiller said: “Happy” looks happy bc he just finished off a family of six #RIP #HappyMeal.”

“We are not un-happy about” the response, said Julie Wenger, senior director of U.S. marketing for McDonald’s. “Happy is not for everyone. He’s about having fun. Really for kids and families.”

Wenger said: “Happy is promoting healthy choices through fun and lightheartedness.”

But not everyone was on board with McDonald’s message, especially given the fast food chain’s reputation for peddling calorie-laden fare.

@samkamani said, “In order to fight obesity in kids, McDonalds introduces its new mascot to scare children.”

@erikbransteen said, “Congrats #McDonalds, first you fatten our kids, then you haunt their nightmares.”

The Happy Meal mascot launches this Friday.

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