Perhaps the most recognizable advertising icon in the world, this beloved clown made his television debut in 1963, played by future Today weatherman Willard Scott. Nicknamed the "hamburger-happy clown," Ronald's look was a bit different back then: He had curly blond hair, a fast-food tray for a hat, a magic belt, and a paper cup for a nose. Ronald's makeover must have been a hit because today McDonald's serves more than 52 million customers a day around the globe.
Several major companies have been under fire recently for offensive marketing tactics and ads. HowStuffWorks looks at a few that have made headlines in recent years.