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BBC Broadcast faces criticism over McDonald's campaign

LONDON - BBC Broadcast has been criticised for producing two infomercials on behalf of fast-food giant McDonald's, aimed at four- to 10-year-olds, which are being screened on ITV during children's programming.

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The campaign broke in August and features Ronald McDonald along with the YumChums, a series of animated characters who live in people's stomachs and sing songs about healthy eating.

It tells children that they need to eat a balanced diet and pursue an active lifestyle. Despite the fact that the McDonald's campaign promotes healthy living, The Times reports that health campaigners still object that the BBC be involved in a campaign that encourages children to eat in fast-food restaurants.

Other commercial clients of BBC Broadcast are AOL, Braun, Ikea, Renault and Harpic. The division creates trails and logos for BBC programmes as well as for external clients.

In the past, pressure group the Food Commission has campaigned to get the BBC to stop using characters such as the Tweenies in promotions for junk food.

The corporation has now introduced nutrition standards that must be met before it will license its Tweenies, Fimbles, Bill & Ben and Teletubbies characters to food manufacturers.

  • BBC Worldwide is expected to make a decision by December on its sale, reportedly worth £2bn, it has told staff. Earlier this month, BBC Worldwide confirmed it was in talks with media companies as it considered the prospect of a sale.

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