McDonald’s, the burger chain with an uncommonly successful rate of toy tie-ins, has announced that the popular and sometimes controversial Teletubbies will join its prestigious Happy Meal entourage in 2000. If this sounds all too familar, its because the promotion is a repeat of Burger King’s spectacular spring 1999 affair with PBS’s daytime stars.

The upcoming “Teletubbies Hugs” consumer promotion reaquaints customers with Teletubbies, the highly-acclaimed pre-school television series starring Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po. “Teletubbies” premiered on PBS in April 1998 and ranks among the top three pre-school children’s shows on television. The series is seen daily (M-F) on PBS’ distinguished Ready to Learn block of quality children’s programming.

“We are delighted to bring the fun and excitement of Teletubbies to McDonald’s customers across North America,” said R.J. Milano, Vice President, McDonald’s U.S. Marketing. “Teletubbies are the perfect addition to our roster of premiere entertainment properties.”

“McDonald’s has been serving and caring for young people for years and we are proud to join forces with a company that is as children and family-oriented as McDonald’s,” said Kenn Viselman, chairman of The itsy bitsy Entertainment Company.”McDonald’s has an impressive history of successful children’s promotions and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a strong partner for Teletubbies.”

The McDonald’s “Teletubbies Hugs” promotion will be supported in North America with an extensive, multi-faceted advertising and marketing campaign.

Ragdoll-produced series for pre-school aged children are shown in more than 60 countries. Titles include “Teletubbies”, “Rosie and Jim”, “Tots TV”,”Brum”, and”Open A Door”. The company is based in Stratford upon Avon, England.

The itsy bitsy Entertainment Company was launched to offer creators of unique properties a partnership for production, distribution, licensing, and marketing, and was founded in 1995 by Kenn Viselman. The company’s philosophy is “To be free to learn, Children must be free to dream!” The itsy bitsy Entertainment Company is a member company of Handleman Company (NYSE:”HDL”).

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