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McDonald's Takes 'Active' Approach

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CHICAGO Leo Burnett here shows a decidedly animated Ronald McDonald in a TV spot touting the fast-food chain's active lifestyle menu, themed "It's what I eat and what I do."

The new ad from the Publicis Groupe agency, which will break in the U.S. on June 10, shows the clown encouraging kids to get up off the couch, eat well and participate in various activities such as biking, snowboarding and playing soccer. The spot also shows Ronald playing basketball with NBA superstar Yao Ming.

After breaking in the U.S., the spot will air in numerous countries, including Canada, Germany, Italy, Portugal, China, New Zealand, Uruguay and Argentina, throughout the year.

The brand's two-year-old "I'm lovin' it" tagline closes out the spot.

The spot is the first step in an effort to put the character front and center in the Oak Brook, Ill., company's efforts to promote active lifestyles. Later this fall, the company will sponsor a series of shows in various U.S. cities, in which Ronald will enlist audience members to help his friend "Arnie" adopt a more active lifestyle.

McDonald's in March launched a global campaign to promote physical activity and a balanced diet. Leo Burnett also created television spots for that launch effort.

Spending on the new effort was not disclosed. McDonald's spends an estimated $1.3 billion globally on advertising per annum.

Separately, McDoanld's promoted Dennis Hennequin to president of its European operations, replacing Russ Smyth, who has left the company. Hennequin, 46, was most recently evp of European operations; his promotion is effective July 1.