McCain shows way forward

After months, years even, of manoeuvring, the threatened ban on junk-food ads looms larger than ever. So in this context, McCain's new advertising strategy looks pretty shrewd (page 5).

McCain - whose famous oven chips are only 5 per cent fat - is hammering home its (relative) health message with a blockbuster campaign based around one of those songs you just can't stop humming: Chips, Glorious Chips (rather than Food, Glorious Food).

The groundwork will be laid by two 60-second TV and cinema ads, but there's no doubt that the catchy tune will give the campaign a life well beyond the screen. The genius stroke is the plan to invade the Christmas panto season, working the song into the fabric of pantomimes around the country.

Not only does the strategy underline the ambitions of McCain's agency, Beattie McGuinness Bungay, to be much more than simply a commercials factory, it shows how food advertisers are going to have to rethink their entire approach to marketing.

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