Ronald McDonald, clown-faced mascot of McDonald’s and scapegoat for childhood obesity, is set to make a comeback.

According to comments from McDonald’s chief brand officer reported on Brand Republic the fast food chain is set to make its long-standing mascot a focal point of its marketing activity, a move sure to raise the ire of health campaigners who blame the figure for fuelling childhood obesity.

Kevin Newell, McDonald’s chief brand officer, said, “Let me tell you something. Ronald isn’t going anywhere. In fact my goal is to make Ronald more prominent.

“He is the best ambassador we have for children’s wellbeing and promoting a balanced lifestyle and getting active.

“People have gone after Ronald for this, that and the other,” Newell adds. “Ronald doesn’t promote food. I challenge anybody to find an ad where they have seen Ronald actually promoting food.”

Ronald – who made an appearance at an event at McDonald’s Olympic venue this week – will be used more heavily in the future to encourage children to take part in a an active lifestyle, Brand Republic writes.

With many childhood obesity campaigners lobbying for the iconic mascot to be banned, the move will likely raise a lot of negative attention around the health of McDonald’s food, an area where the chain has invested significant effort into improving.