It was probably only a matter of time before "Smell-vertising" became a reality and it looks like fast-food spud specialists McCain is the first major company to get in on the act.
To promote its revolutionary new product, Ready Baked Jackets (frozen jacket potatoes that will cook in the oven in just five minutes), it has introduced 3D fibreglass models of baked tatties at selected bus stops in London, York, Manchester, Nottingham and Glasgow, which will release the aroma of fresh oven-baked potato throughout the shelter when a button is pressed. Of course, the machine will also dispense money-off vouchers.
It's unclear yet how wise it is to associate your product with something as deeply depressing as the bus stop, when waiting for the bus – especially at the moment – is truly one of life's great trials.
If it is deemed a success, however, we can probably expect bus stops of the future to reek of a mixture of curries, pizza and meat. And, let's face it, probably McDonalds. Which is just about preferable to fags and vomit.