McDonald's axes Golden Arches in ads for health focus

LONDON - McDonald's is to drop its globally recognised Golden Arches icon from UK advertising for the first time as part of a landmark brand campaign to convince consumers of its healthy eating ethos.

The Arches will be replaced by a golden question mark as national poster ads carry the strapline "McDonald's. But not as you know it".

The activity follows last month's news of McDonald's lowest profits in the UK since its launch 30 years ago. Pre-tax profits slumped from £83.8m to £23.6m as it suffered from negative publicity related to the obesity debate.

The "'Changing" campaign, created by ad agency Leo Burnett, is intended to encourage consumers to reassess their traditional view of McDonald's solely as a provider of high-fat burgers.

Executions will feature images including fresh salad, a pile of empty eggshells and the words "free range", fruit pieces and a bagel smothered in cream cheese.

McDonald's is also planning mail-drops to 17m homes, detailing the changes the fast-food retailer is making and offering incentives to visit its restaurants.

The work is a critical step in a long-term business and marketing strategy repositioning the company to reflect chief executive Charlie Bell's vision of it as a combination of Pret A Manger and Starbucks.

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