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Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Anger over McDonald's sponsorship
Burger
Food groups are concerned about obesity in children
MPs and food groups are upset after fast food chain McDonald's signed a 1m deal to sponsor a children's TV show.

The restaurant is backing GMTV's early morning weekend show, Diggit, and the sponsorship is already under way.

The show is specifically aimed at young children and features cartoons and games.

There are strict rules surrounding programme sponsorship, such as not actually showing the product, in this case chips or hamburgers.

But the logo can be displayed whenever there is an advertising break.

Exposed

MPs are concerned parents will be constantly pestered by their children to take them to fast food restaurants in an age where child obesity is a growing problem.

Stourbridge MP Debra Shipley has criticised the deal, saying children as young as three could be exposed to the sponsorship.

But GMTV is adamant it has done nothing wrong in signing an agreement with McDonald's.

"Any programme sponsorship we take on complies with the Independent Television Commission's code," said a spokesman for GMTV.

The Food Commission, an independent campaigning watchdog, is also angry at GMTV for allowing McDonald's to advertise on the show.

Ban

"I think its outrageous. GMTV promotes itself as a pro-family company, concerned with health, yet it takes its money from McDonald's - the biggest junk food company in the world," said spokeswoman Kath Delmeny.

"Advertising of this sort is aimed at children who do not have the knowledge that too much junk food is bad for you.

"Children also increasingly have their own money which they can be persuaded to spend in places like that."

Ms Shipley has proposed an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling for all advertising to be banned during programmes aimed at under-fives.

See also:

21 May 01 | Health
05 Jan 01 | Health
09 Feb 01 | Health
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