'Viz' challenges McDonald's over TV money tips

"Don't waste hundreds of pounds on expensive carpet. Simply buy two small pieces - attach them to the bottom of your feet and get that quality carpet feel throughout your home." This is one of the "money saving tips" in the current television commercials for McDonald's, the burger chain.

"When out shopping, glue carpet tiles to the soles of your shoes. They make Sainsbury's feel like your living room." This is one of the "Top Tips" published by Viz magazine, the cult comic, in 1987 and included in a compilation book in 1994.

Lawyers representing Viz are now studying the McDonald's campaign and have written to the burger company's lawyers expressing their concern.

In the McDonald's radio campaign listeners are counselled on how to "save money on expensive binoculars". They are told "to stand closer to the thing you are looking at and then it will seem bigger".

In Viz issue 36, published in May 1989 and then republished in a compilation paperback, was the following Top Tip: "Don't waste money buying expensive binoculars. Simply stand closer to the object you wish to view."

Two of the Viz tips which found echoes in the McDonald's campaign were next to each other on the same page of the Viz issue of March of this year.

One McDonald's commercial is almost exactly the same as a Viz Top Tip, only using the phrase "second-hand shop" instead of "Oxfam". Viz's tip in March of this year was: "Save a fortune on your laundry bills. Give your dirty shirts to Oxfam. They will wash and iron them and you can then buy them back for fifty pence." The money saving tip from McDonald's urges: "Save a fortune on laundry bills. Give your dirty shirts to a second-hand shop. They'll wash and iron them and then you can buy them back for 50p."

Two other "money-saving tips" in the McDonald's campaign bear remarkable similarities to the Viz Top Tips, leading some Viz readers to think the magazine has given McDonald's permission to use the tips.

One Viz reader in Gloucester has written to Viz with a new Top Tip. He advises: "Geordie magazine editors, continue paying your mortgage and buying expensive train sets ... by simply licensing the Top Tips concept to a multi-national burger corporation."

Viz's publisher, John Brown of John Brown Publishing, said last night: "We're actually getting quite a few complaints. Readers think we licensed the Top Tips to McDonald's and have accused us of selling out. It's extremely surprising to have anything you publish used by somebody else virtually word for word. Our lawyers are in touch with McDonald's lawyers. McDonald's didn't ask our permission or approach us at all."

A spokeswoman for McDonald's said: "They are suggesting that we have perhaps taken the idea from Top Tips. We say we haven't. Our campaign is called 'Money Saving Tips'. We just took the concept of weird and wacky ideas. Our creative people went to a number of books and publications to get the ideas. Viz was not one of them. Some of the ideas were just taken from jokes people had heard over the years."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss