The BBC complaints unit has ruled that the company's all-out promotion of U2’s “No Line on the Horizon” album was "inappropriate" and a breach of its guidelines.

The coverage of the launch, which included a concert on the roof of BBC Broadcasting House, gave the band millions in free publicity.

A graphic that read "U2 = BBC" gave "undue prominence for commercial products or organizations," the corporation's editorial complaints unit (ECU) ruled.

The report also stated that a statement that the BBC was "part of launching this new album" - in an interview with Bono  - was "inappropriate."

The blanket coverage at the time stirred comment from many who saw government money in license payers funds being used to promote the band

The British Conservative MP Nigel Evans said: "Why should license fee-payers shoulder the cost of U2's publicity?"

The BBC ruling stated: "In addition, the Radio 1 leadership team have reminded executive producers and presenters about the issues to be considered in relation to judgments about undue prominence, and the distinction between the reporting of new artistic work and commercial promotion."

U2 played to play Glastonbury 2011PA Wire/Press Association Images