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Monday, 15 July, 2002, 04:23 GMT 05:23 UK
ITC rejects McDonald's ad complaints
Children in McDonalds
McDonalds' marketing to children has caused concern
More than 100 complaints about a McDonald's advert featuring a young boy whose parents had separated have been rejected by the Independent Television Commission (ITC).

The commercial showed the boy telling each of his parents that the other had taken him to the zoo.

Both responded by offering to take him to the fast food chain - to the child's obvious delight.

The advert provoked 103 complaints, including many who felt it made light of the serious issue of family break-ups.

'Unhealthy'

Two teachers were among those who made complaints to the television watchdog.

They said the advert set an unhelpful example to children dealing with the separation of their own parents.

Some said it appeared to encourage children to lie to get what they wanted.

Others were concerned it could lead to unhealthy eating habits - as the boy would eat two burger meals in one day.

Obesity

The ITC said it understood the concerns raised about the commercial.

But it dismissed the complaints because the boy seemed to be coping well with his situation.

It is not the first time concern has been raised about the tactics used by McDonald's to reach children.

Earlier this year MPs and food groups complained when the burger chain secured a 1m sponsorship deal with GMTV's children's show Diggit.

MPs were concerned parents would be pestered by children wanting to go to McDonald's, in an age where child obesity is a growing problem.

See also:

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