Forget Pennywise — this demented version of Ronald McDonald is the spooky season's scariest clown. In what many misconstrued as an advertisement for McDonald's Japan restaurants appears to be a rather cut version of the iconic fast food mascot wearing nothing but a tiny red Speedo — with French fries peeking out from unspeakable areas.
The image in question is not from a McDonald's ad, but are actually Yotebba ads, according to PageSix. Yotteba is a Japanese chain of tapas restaurants and pubs known locally for their "offbeat" postings and marketing. The X-rated Ronald McDonald originates with artist WizardSkull, who also has no affiliation with the chain.
The photo began circulating social media earlier this week, looking as if it were pulled straight from a promotion. Check out some of the reactions from Twitter users thinking that McDonald's lost its collective mind.
Looks like my “Try a McDonalds in every country I visit” rule will not happen when I visit Japan... pic.twitter.com/vB51enAnt6— Billy Mac (@billy_mac) September 25, 2019
As can be seen on WizardSkull's website, the so-called "Sexy Ronald" is popular with pirate street-vendors in countries as far as Thailand and South Africa, although the artist offers no explanation on how his take on the mascot wound up in an advertisement.
A few Instagram users dug up a years-old Instagram post WizardSkull shared of the artwork, taking to the comments section to talk about its renewed relevance.
"Not really appropriate for advertising but as art expression is fine," one said.
"Dude, this has gone viral..." another wrote.
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Earlier this year, McDonald's customers in Japan noticed another inappropriate marketing tool when the chain was advertising a new set of plastic cups that seemed innocuous enough at first, but when held at an angle appeared to put the illustrated children on them in inappropriate positions.0comments
The clear cups were decorated with a boy on one side and a girl on the other, so that once the customer finished the drink, the young lovebirds appear to plant an innocent kiss on one another. However, if the cup was not tilted at just the right angle, instead of a puppy love kind of kiss, the characters appeared in a compromising position completely inappropriate for youngsters.
Photo credit: Dia Dipasupil / Staff / Getty