We have studied flux pinning in thin superconducting Pb films covering a triangular array of submicron magnetic Au/Co/Au dots with in-plane magnetization. The rectangular dots can have two possible in-plane magnetic slates: a single-domain state where the magnetization lies parallel to the long axis of the dot and a multi-domain state. In this paper, we report on the measurements of the field dependence of the critical current I-c(B) of a superconducting Pb film evaporated on top of this magnetic array. We observe a clear influence of the magnetic state of the dots on the pinning properties of the magnetic array, showing that there is an important pinning contribution due to the stray fields of the magnetic dots. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.