The corporation carried the preview clip, known as an ‘ident’, prior to the Panorama special on the ten-year hunt for Maddie on Wednesday.
In the clip, the bird watchers pick up their binoculars and squint into the distance, as the voiceover says: “The search goes on in a case like no other.”
Viewers were quick to spot the problematic choice, pointing out an apparent error in judgement.
The broadcaster sidestepped the criticism in an official statement sent to HuffPost, which said: “The BBC has a birdwatching ident which appears across BBC One which the public is already familiar with.”
‘Madeleine McCann: 10 Years On’ chronicled the painful search for the missing toddler, who would now be 14 years old.
The investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance continues to this day, although it has been scaled down drastically.
Last month the Home Office confirmed £85,000 was being given to the UK-based Metropolitan Police inquiry to cover operational costs from April to September and, in all, more than £11 million has been spent on the inquiry so far.
Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, remain hopeful for her safe return.