Fury over 'violent' robot gift for kids


Louise Barnett

Daily Mirror

July 27, 2007

Burger King was yesterday slammed for encouraging kids as young as three to watch the violent Transformers movie.

The fast food chain is giving away free toys, based on the film's characters, to kids of three and over despite it being classified a 12A.

The National Consumer Council chief executive Ed Mayo said: "This is a great summer for films and we wish Transformers well, but it has a level of violence that gives it a rating of 12 and over.

"So why are we seeing marketing to children over the age of three?

"The promotion with Burger King looks and feels like it's designed to pester and undermine."

The NCC insists the toys, given free with kids' meals will lead to the very young using pester power to urge parents to let them see the film.

It wants new advertising rules for similar promotions to be tightened.

The summer blockbuster, which launches today, is classified 12A because of its moderate violence. This means under 12s can only see it in a cinema if they are accompanied by an adult

A Burger King spokesman said: "We are pleased to be able to make these popular toys available in our restaurants so that children who are perhaps too young to see the film can still enjoy the magic of Transformers.

"Burger King enters global film promotional partnerships at least a year in advance of the cinema release, at which time the film classification remains undecided."

The Committee of Advertising Practice, which draws up advertising guidelines, refused to respond until it officially receives the NCC complaint.