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BBC to trim the tie-ins with junk food

TELEVISION & RADIO

April 06, 2004|From Associated Press

LONDON — The British Broadcasting Corp. announced Monday that it would phase out ties between its popular children's television characters and fatty or sugary snack foods.

Teletubbies chocolate bars, Tweenies chocolate crispies and Fimbles shortcake are to be replaced with healthier products, like yogurt with dried fruit and shaped pasta.

The BBC, largely funded by British taxpayers, licenses its children's TV cartoon characters around the world for a variety of products, such as books and videos. Food depicting the characters is sold around the world.

The BBC said that while it will still license special treats, such as birthday cakes or holiday fare, its brands will no longer be linked with everyday products high in fat, salt and sugar.

The change is expected to be completed within two years as the current licenses expire.

The move was made in response to growing concern over children's diets and the rise in childhood obesity, BBC officials said. Last year, the company ended its joint promotions with fast food restaurants.

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