Lego to use kids' show on BBC as launchpad for products

LONDON: Toy giant Lego has come up with an interesting way of promoting its products through television. However, the in-programme placement has raised several issues.



A Mediaguardian report says that Little Robots, a flagship BBC children's show, is being used as a launch pad for a range of Lego products. The company plans to launch a new range of products based on the popular cartoon show. The company this week revealed its plan to launch a set of mini figures based on the characters of the show.

The report adds that the first series of Little Robots, produced by Cosgrove Hall, featured the voices of Su Pollard, Martin Clunes and Lenny Henry. The programme centres on a group of robots who, finding themselves abandoned on a metal scrapheap, use their combined skills to turn the nuts, bolts and junk around them into a home.

The show attracted about 135,000 viewers to the CBeebies digital channel earlier this year. The show was co-produced by Vanessa Chapman, a former controller of children's programmes for ITV, who joined Lego three years ago to devise ideas for television in-programme placement.

However, the report says that the concept of in-programme placement will allow Lego to promote its toys on the channel BBC wherein sponsorship is banned. There have been growing concerns about advertisers bending the strict rules in an attempt to gain mileage.

There was a hue and cry over a show created by FMCG company Heinz. The company had created and funded a cookery series on Channel Five that promoted tinned baked beans, spaghetti and macaroni cheese. The recipes used products produced by Heinz, no reference was made to the brand.

Other examples include the Pepsi Chart Show and The Real DIY Show, produced for ITV with the help of B&Q.

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