McDonalds is between a rock and a hard place.

On the one hand, a legion of rampant health campaigners and lawmakers complain at the burger behemoth's calculated targeting of its high calorie products at children; on the other, a legion of rampant investment banks and stockholders complain of a slowdown in profits growth.

As ever, Mammon licks morality with one hand tied behind its back, and McDonald's is set to pump millions of dollars into the launch of a global campaign backing its new McKids range of clothing, footwear, videos and toys that "reflect today's active lifestyles".

Opponents of juvenile exploitation will ruefully reflect that "active lifestyles" are not often associated with frequent visits to Big Mac's emporia.

The archetypally American McKids range will be manufactured within the People's Republic of China, the source of the USA's largest global imbalance in jobs and trading. The collection is destined for rollout in retail stores across the US, Asia and Australia, then Europe.

McDonald's hails its initiative as "one more strategic element in the company's ongoing revitalisation plan [that] exemplifies the kind of new thinking, focus and bold action that is redefining McDonald's".

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff