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30/03/01 . Kay Larsen . Dow Jones Newswires . London  
McDonald's Refutes Report Of Ad Campaign Cancelation  
Fast-food multinational McDonald's (MCD) U.K. office said Friday that the company hasn't canceled any advertising campaigns due to the widespread outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in the U.K.  

"Our airtime hasn't changed and our current campaign is running as normal," the spokeswoman told Dow Jones Newswires.

The comment follows a report in the U.K. press that McDonald's and food retailer Waitrose have pulled television advertisements on the grounds that the timing is inappropriate for meat advertising.

A spokesperson for food retailer Waitrose wasn't immediately available to comment.

The press report comes in the wake of a Merrill Lynch analysts' forecast that April advertising revenues at the U.K.'s commercial channel ITV, or Channel 3, will fall 15-20% compared with the previous year.

Merrill forecasts a 13% fall in May and a 16% fall in June.

The decline is due to the fall-off in dot-com advertising and a reduction in advertising by car and telecoms companies.

Merrill also said the recent outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, mad-cow disease, and foot-and-mouth disease are likely to dent meat advertising revenues.

The human version of BSE, which like the animal version has a lengthy incubation period, has killed almost 100 people in Great Britain since 1995, when it virtually wiped out the British beef industry.

ITV is run by broadcasters Granada Media (U.GAA) and Carlton Communications (CCTVY).

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