Ronald McDonald gets cargo pants and gilet makeover, declares: 'Selfies, here I come!'

Clown promoted to social media manager

After hiding him in semi-retirement for years, McDonald's has given Ronald McDonald a promotion, a new nightmarish uniform and a Twitter account in a bid to boost flagging sales.

The ambassador, who apparently 'represents the magic and happiness' of the brand, has ditched his violently yellow jumpsuit for a softer mustard-coloured gilet vest, cargo pants, a red-and-white striped rugby shirt and a blazer described as 'whimsical' that he will be reserving for special occasions (his civil partnership with the Hamburglar?).

Ron has been in the background of McDonald's' advertising campaigns in recent years, following criticism over his use in marketing at children, but with the restaurant chain reporting a 5% drop in first-quarter net income this week it seems they figured they may as well give him one last shot.

In addition to his hip new get-up, McDonald will also be taking a more active role on Twitter.

He won't be getting his own handle, but tweeting from the brand's main account using the #RonaldMcDonald hashtag.

"Selfies I come!" He said in a press release that literally quotes Ronald McDonald. "It's a big world and now, wherever I go and whatever I do...I'm ready to show how fun can make great things happen."

It remains a mystery as to what kind of selfies he will be tweeting, but if there's any justice they will involve him lurking in the bushes and driving a speedboat while sinking a McFlurry.

The clown's new attire adds a bow tie but leaves his big red shoes unchanged, and was designed by Broadway theatrical designer Ann Hould-Ward.

"Designing new clothes for Ronald McDonald was one of the highlights of my career," she said with a straight face. "I've worked with some really big names over the years and suiting up a living legend was a real thrill."

Ronald will make his triumphant return to television ads later in the year, and is set to be worked into the design of remodelled restaurants hereon.

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