Clowning Around with Charity: How McDonald’s Exploits Philanthropy and Targets Children


Michele Simon

New report from Eat Drink Politics exposes McDonald’s charitable activity as a marketing tool to deflect critics.

Pop quiz: Who do you think funds the hundreds of Ronald McDonald Houses around the nation? McDonald’s right? Sort of, but not really. While McDonald’s gets 100 percent of the brand benefit from Ronald McDonald House Charities, the burger giant only provides about 20 percent of its funding globally. At the local level, it’s closer to ten percent, with some of that money coming from donation boxes at McDonald’s outlets, that is, from customers.

The Dark Side of Marketing Healthy Food to Children


Susan Linn and Michele Simon

In response to the public outcry over the negative impacts of junk food marketing to children, food companies have started using popular media characters to market “healthy” foods to children. These products include fruits and vegetables, as well as processed food. So we now have Campbell’s Disney Princess “Healthy Kids” soup, Kellogg’s Scooby-Doo! cereal (with less sugar), and others.

Dads Not Lovin' It Either


Josh Golin
I am a father who passionately cares about the health and well-being of my child, and of all children. As the Associate Director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), I work to protect kids from predatory corporate marketers. I know all too well how corporations undermine parents' efforts to raise healthy children. The good news is that together, parents and advocates around the world are coming together to expose and end kid-targeted marketing.

CCFC's Josh Golin Testifies Against Massachusetts' and Gates Foundation's InBloom Initiative

On March 26, CCFC's Josh Golin testified in front of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and urged the Board to reconsider a plan to share confidential student data with for-profit companies. His testimony is below. CCFC is part of a growing coalition in for student's privacy in Massachusetts fighting that includes Citizens for Public Schools, the Mass PTA, and the ACLU of Massachusetts.

New Publication: "Facing the Screen Dilemma," a Technology Guide for Early Educators

Today CCFC announced the publication of Facing the Screen Dilemma: Young children, technology and early education. Created with our friends at the Alliance for Childhood and Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment (TRUCE), and packed with relevant research and practical tips, Facing the Screen Dilemma is the first guide designed to help early educators make informed decisions about whether, why, how, and when to use screen technologies with young children.

Standing Up For Children’s Privacy

CCFC is proud to be part of a broad coalition working to protect children’s privacy online. In August, along with 17 other organizations, we filed five separate complaints with the FTC against McDonald’s, Subway, General Mills, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The complaints urge the FTC to investigate these companies for unfair and deceptive marketing practices that use refer-a-friend campaigns to incite children to engage in viral marketing.


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