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Streakers launch new Irn-Bru slogan in £5m campaign

LONDON - Irn-Bru could be set for another run-in with advertising watchdogs with its new campaign, which shows streakers turning the tables on the police, tackling a bobby to the ground.

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The spot is one of two in a new £5m campaign created by the Leith Agency, introducing a new slogan for the Scottish pop brand: "Phenomenal Irn-Bru". The campaign breaks in Scotland today, ahead of a UK-wide push in March 2005.

Irn-Bru has found itself at the centre of controversy for a number of its ads. Most recently, 17 viewers, including a number of transsexuals, complained about an ad showing a woman saying "I used to be a man" and then shaving her face. It was banned by Ofcom because it mocked transsexual women.

An earlier campaign that told Goths to cheer up received complaints after Goths said that people had started to throw cans of Irn-Bru at them, while a poster ad, showing a cow and the line "When I'm a burger I want to be washed down with Irn-Bru", was the most complained about ad in 1998.

Along with the "bobby" execution, there is "out of control", which shows an extreme makeover following an encounter with a street-cleaning truck.

The campaign will run on television, radio, print, outdoor and online, with media through PHD.

Barr Soft Drinks has been backing the new ad campaign with teaser posters in Glasgow and Edinburgh. There have also been PR stunts including skydivers wearing kilts, giant Irn-Bru can cars on the streets, live window displays in the Glasgow department store Frasers, and the chance to win Irn-Bru branded Mini iPods.

Jonathan Kemp, commercial director at Barr, said: "This campaign is all about celebrating Irn-Bru and the unique passion that people have for its great, indescribable taste."

Kemp said that research continually revealed that nothing compares with Irn-Bru.

"So we're turning the spotlight on this phenomenal product and the phenomenal place it has in the hearts and minds of the Scottish nation."

Irn-Bru is the biggest soft drink brand in Scotland and one of the top 100 brands in the UK. The recipe is only known by Barr's chairman Robin Barr and one other employee. It is claimed that Barr personally mixes the secret blend of flavours to make the Irn-Bru essence.

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