NEW YORK -- Ronald McDonald has a new outfit, and he's ready for selfie.
McDonald's said Wednesday its famous spokesclown will take an active role on social media for the first time, using the hashtag #ronaldmcdonald. The move marks a turnaround from recent years, when the red-haired mascot faded to the background as McDonald's came under criticism for using him to market to children.
But the world's biggest hamburger chain seems ready to give its clown a higher-profile role as it works to boost weak sales.
Without providing details, the company says Ronald McDonald will "take an active role" on its social media channels. It says the clown will also begin appearing in TV ads later this year wearing new clothes, including yellow cargo pants, a red blazer and a red-and-white striped ruby shirt. His shoes remain unchanged.
His new clothes were designed by Ann Hould-Ward, a Tony-Award winning theatrical designer.
"Designing new clothes for Ronald McDonald was one of the highlights of my career," Hould-Ward says. "I've worked with some really big names over the years and suiting up a living legend was a real thrill."