Spuds are sexy, say optimistic ad men

The humble spud, which last saw celebrity in the hands of Sir Walter Raleigh, is to star in a government-backed drive to help combat the rising tide of pasta and polenta.

The humble spud, which last saw celebrity in the hands of Sir Walter Raleigh, is to star in a government-backed drive to help combat the rising tide of pasta and polenta.

The £300,000 campaign has been ordered by the British Potato Council, which is determined to restore the tuber to its rightful place at the British dinner table. The potato, it will claim, is sexy.

Young professionals will be offered free massages and salsa lessons in return for buying a bag of spuds. They will be wooed with glossy magazine ads exploring the potato's hitherto little-known "aphrodisiac qualities".

The campaign itself has been drawn up by oddball advertising agency Naked Communications, notorious for cordoning off public toilets with police tape and playing fake recordings of people screaming inside to promote the launch of vindaloo Supernoodles.

Potato Council marketing manager Katherine Racesaid the main aim was to dispel the belief that potatoes are dull.Alongside "live radio cook-ins", supermarkets will carry promotional 5lb bags of King Edwards, Desirees and Maris Pipers, with tokens offering the chance of free massages, salsa classes, weekend breaks and laser quest outings.

What's more, said Ms Race, "we want to tap into people's mindsets when they are feeling stressed, tired, hungry or romantic, and offer them the variety they need to suit those different moods.

"We may find out that, for example, people are feeling romantic when they eat mashed potato – and, if that's the case, what else are they doing with their mash?"

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