'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
Life and Style
love + sex
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Salesforce / Reports / CRM - North London - NfP

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger & Credit Control Assistant

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...

Recruitment Genius: Project Administrator

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Administrator is requ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn