B.C. 9-year-old grills McDonald’s CEO
A Kelowna girl is back to her life as a normal nine-year-old after meeting with one of corporate America’s most powerful executives last week. (Corporate Accountability International)
Reyhana Heatherington, CTV British Columbia
Published Monday, May 27, 2013 5:37PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, May 27, 2013 6:08PM PDT
A Kelowna girl is back to her life as a normal nine-year-old after meeting with one of corporate America’s most powerful executives last week.
Hannah Robertson flew to Chicago with her mother to attend McDonald’s annual shareholders meeting and spoke with CEO Don Thompson.
The Grade 4 student, who enjoys public speaking, asked the CEO to consider the effects of McDonald’s marketing strategies during the general question and answer period of the meeting.
“Something that I don’t think is fair is when big companies try to trick kids into eating food that isn’t good for them by using toys and cartoon characters,” she told Thompson.
She concluded her time-limited statement with a question: “Don’t you want kids to be healthy so they can live a long and happy life?”
Thompson, who has only been in his current position with McDonald’s since last July, thanked Hannah for her statement before replying, “We don’t sell junk food Hannah”.
He commended Hannah for her focus on nutrition and said McDonald’s does offer fruit and vegetable options and “are trying to sell even more.” He said the company may respond to consumer demand by including more fruit options.
Hannah’s mother Kia, who also read a statement at the meeting, said the overarching goal of their statements was to stop McDonald’s marketing to children and “level the playing field.”
“People don’t think about apples when they go into a McDonald’s,” Robertson said.
Hannah and Kia attended the meeting in a partnership with advocacy group Corporate Accountability International. The group invited the mother-daughter duo to attend the as part of their “Mom’s Not Lovin’ It” campaign.
Robertson is the president of Today I Ate a Rainbow, an “interactive nutritional game” advocating healthy eating. The company, which she started in 2009, includes a blog and cooking videos of Hannah and Kia.
Thompson also spoke with Hannah after the meeting where she presented him with her mother’s business card.
“As a mom, I really appreciated him taking the time to acknowledge her,” Robertson said.
After the media whirlwind awaiting the Robertson’s when they landed back in Canada, Kia said it was agreed Sunday would be her daughter’s last day of interviews for awhile so she could go back to being a regular kid.
“Today she’s playing with ducks at a friend’s farm,” Robertson said.