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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 September 2007, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Snowman 'exploited' by the ad men
The Snowman
The Snowman, published in 1978, was later made into a short film
Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, creator of the children's' classic The Snowman, says his character has fallen victim to "crass exploitation".

In a letter to The Times, Mr Briggs said The Snowman had been used to advertise fizzy drinks and fast food.

He added that he had no say in what The Snowman's image was used to advertise.

Mr Briggs' comments come days after Michael Bond refuted claims he had written a Marmite advert featuring marmalade-loving Paddington Bear.

The Snowman has been used to advertise KFC in Japan, and, after obtaining a licence to use the original soundtrack, Irn Bru created their own animated homage to The Snowman.

'Dismay'

In his letter, Mr Briggs said: "As a fellow sufferer (and beneficiary) of the commercial exploitation of a character I have created, The Snowman, I can sympathise with Michael Bond.

"The Snowman, to my dismay, has been used to promote Irn Bru, and in Japan, Kentucky Fried Chicken.

"It is galling to find that the innocent character one has created for young children is being used to promote junk food and drink, and also to decorate the packaging of lavatory paper.

"It seems grotesque that Michael Bond and I have no say in the matter. Furthermore, we are then blamed for the crass exploitation, of which we knew nothing."

Mr Briggs said he would rather "preserve the integrity" of the character than receive a royalty cheque for use of the image.

The Snowman was published in 1978, and four years later it was turned into a 26-minute animated film by Dianne Jackson for Channel 4.

The film was nominated for a best animated short film Oscar in 1983.




SEE ALSO
Paddington 'still eats marmalade'
19 Sep 07 |  Entertainment

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