September 08, 2003 10:00 AM

Forget the Golden Arches. At these prices, they’re more like platinum.

Following last week’s reports that Justin Timberlake would serve as the new McDonald’s pitchman — part of an international ad campaign aimed at perking up sales of the flagging chain’s burger to tweens — financial details are now surfacing.

Variety reports that the 22-year-old former ‘N Sync-er turned solo artist will pocket $6 million for delivering a “hip pop jingle” called “I’m Lovin’ It” (the new slogan) in the advertising campaign, which is expected to cost McDonald’s $1.5 billion overall.

Timberlake’s paycheck is considerably less than the one generated by his former girlfriend, Britney Spears, 21, who earned more than $10 million for her 2001 Pepsi endorsement contract, the trade paper reports.

Timberlake’s contract also reportedly includes a McDonald’s sponsorship of his super-sized, 35-country tour.

“We are spending a great deal,” Larry Light, McDonald’s chief marketing officer, told reporters last week. The Timberlake campaign is the first global marketing effort in the fast-food company’s 50-year history.

TV spots will begin to air this month at various dates throughout the globe. U.S. spots are scheduled to kick off Sept. 29, said McDonald’s.

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