Should an almost-naked Nell McAndrew promote farming?

A marketing campaign aimed at encouraging shoppers to return to ‘wartime staples’ such as potatoes has divided opinion among farmers.

The Potato Council campaign features model Nell McAndrew is designed to remind consumers that spuds are full of nutrients, low in fat and still good value for money.

Kathryn Race, from the Potato Council, commented: “The stunning photographs of Nell, who regularly eats potatoes, are designed to highlight that the dishes our grandparents used to cook were healthy, nutritious and easy on the wallet as well as the waistline.”

But the pictures released to the mainstream pres have not been universally welcomed.

Nell McAndrew

Writing on his blog, The Longer View, FW columnist Matthew Naylor said: “Who the hell is running the PC these days, Benny Hill? Shame on them.I thought this sort of thing ended in the 1970s when Pan’s People split up. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, agriculture is not just bad at marketing, it is terrible. We are in the dark ages.”

One of his readers, Ed S agreed: “It appeals to the ad agency, not the consumers. Much as I appreciate Nell, it reminds me of the Dad’s Army approach to marketing that UK agriculture stays with”

On the FWiSpace discussion forums moaningfarmerpalmer said that he always cringed at these types of adverts. “Nell McAndrew lying on a load of Maris Piers ain’t going to get me to put them in the basket next time I’m at the greengrocers.”

In defence, Mildred said that he (yes, he’s a man posing as a woman!) thought it was about time that agriculture used stunts like this to get publicity.

M Gott added that he thought Nell McAndrew made a perfect pin up for British food and farming – “sexy, healthy, honest and down to earth”.

“EBLEX could do worse than to scrap Beefy and Lamby and follow suit,” he said. “Not literally of course, as I’m not sure draping a sexy model over a heap of lamb chops would be quite as effective!”

What do you reckon? Is Nell enticing or an embarrassment? Join the conversation on the forums.