By Jon Delano


Ronald McDonald, the iconic personification of McDonald’s, has apparently been frightened by those creepy clown sightings popping up all over the country.

“I don’t think anybody of a certain age would confuse Ronald McDonald with some of these creepy clowns; but unfortunately, I think this is a sign of the times we live in,” says Bob Oltmanns who teaches and practices public relations.

In a brief statement, McDonald’s suggested Ronald would not be out and about as much as he has in the past, noting, “McDonald’s and franchisees in the local markets are mindful of the current climate around clown sightings in communities and as such are being thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald’s participation in community events for the time being.”

Ronald last visited Pittsburgh a year ago, helping to promote all-day breakfast at McDonald’s.

“All day, all day, the rooster’s going to be cracking eggs all day. This is great. Good times,” he told KDKA money editor Jon Delano last October.

So is McDonald’s really over-reacting to this creepy clown scare, or is it protecting an image it has had for over 50 years?

Oltmanns says he understands McDonald’s action.

“Ronald McDonald’s brand identity is one of happiness, a welcoming, inviting personality for children. And with all of the hysteria over clown sightings going on in the past couple of weeks, I can certainly understand why there would be a concern,” says Oltmanns.

Oltmanns says while Ronald may take a short break, he’s been around too long to be gone forever.

“They can probably wait out however long the clown hysteria might linger,” he says.

For our kids’ sakes, let’s hope so!

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