Crash diet ordered for Michelin man

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The Independent Online
It comes to us all sooner or later - a glance in the mirror and the realisation that the waist is beginning to thicken and middle-age is creeping up rather faster than one had previously thought.

Now the cheery Michelin Man, sympathetic friend to all those nurturing the odd spare tyre, has been told to lose weight in time for his 100th birthday next year. Bibendum, the roly poly logo of France's tyre and rubber company will take a leaner, healthier look next year to celebrate his company's image.

It is ironic that the man who represents the Michelin Guide, the ultimate food bible in France where all good fare must contain lashings of double cream and butter should have to slim. But Patrick Olivia, a spokesman for the company, said the new-look Bibendum was created after Michelin consulted focus groups in Asia, where the company hopes to make a big sales push in coming years.

"We want to show that we can adapt to changing circumstances without sacrificing ourselves on the altar of fashion," he said. Michelin wants to present Bibendum as "a leader in an open and reassuring attitude".