McDonald's starts mad-cow print campaign in Italy

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McDonald's Corp. restaurants in Italy have started running a print ad campaign aimed at calming fears that customers could contract the deadly "mad cow" disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, by eating the company's hamburgers. The initiative, created by Leo Burnett Co., is rotating between Italy's national newspapers and several key regional publications. The ads are mostly text, but include a photo of a hamburger with a small Italian flag hanging off one side, creating three levels separated with the two buns and the hamburger patty. The text, placed between the levels, outlines the company's safety standards and says that the company stakes its reputation on its products' safety. The largest print is near the bottom, where the text reads "Relax. It's guaranteed by McDonald's." The company also declined say what percentage of its reported $19 million Italy advertising budget had been diverted to the new campaign.

Copyright December 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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