Edinburgh Council leader Cllr Adam McVey helps to launch a campaign for dedicated Veg Ad Fund to address shortage of veg marketing

Nourish Scotland Press Release

Embargoed until 00.01 Thursday 18 January 2018


Our annual advertising budget spent on veg is pea-sized. £296.6 million gets spent on confectionary, snacks, fruit, veg and soft drink marketing in the UK each year.  But when was the last time you saw a humble carrot ad? That’s because only 1.2% of that total is allocated to veg.


Renowned TV food campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has teamed up with the Peas Please initiative to get a new Veg Advertising Fund off the ground to tempt us into eating our veg.

A dedicated Veg Ad Fund, made up from contributions from the Government, retailers and producers would enable vegetables to receive marketing investment to help compete with branded chocolates, fast food outlets and soft-drink firms.


The Peas Please initiative is marking the launch of the campaign for a dedicated Veg Ad Fund by unveiling the winner of the Peas Please vegetable ad competition organised last year. The poster ad aims to reach out to children and adults and is the positive, fun approach to promoting vegetable consumption that is severely missing from the advertising industry today.


Edinburgh City Council are supporting the launch of the campaign by facilitating a projection of the veg ad onto the Princes Street-facing side of the City Chambers this Thursday after sunset. The winning advert will also be displayed in over 5,000 other locations across the UK.



Speaking at the Peas Please Veg Summit last October, Council leader Cllr Adam McVey said: “I am absolutely supportive of this initiative. This is an important other layer of the work that we can do as a Council and City. To achieve the Eat Well goals we need to make the greens more attractive, from a young age. It’s not just about food, it’s about living longer and better.”


Advertising vegetables is important because Scots are struggling to get their 5-A-Day.

Food Standards Scotland’s Head of Public Health Nutrition, Heather Peace, said: “We’re happy to help fund the Peas Please initiative in Scotland which is designed to encourage us all to eat more vegetables. This is especially important as we only average around three portions of fruit and veg each day in Scotland, when we should be eating at least five.”

Low vegetable diets are related to 20,000 premature deaths: research shows that diets high in fruit and veg protect us against coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Pete Ritchie, Executive Director of Nourish Scotland said: “Advertising works. There is not just one answer to tackle the nation’s diet crisis, but addressing the bias of advertising must be part of the solution. The sector needs to put more money and creativity into selling veg.  Putting a proper advertising fund in place will boost consumption, improve health and help producers

The Peas Please initiative is led by the Food Foundation, Nourish Scotland, WWF, and Food Cardiff.   This ground-breaking campaign addresses declining levels of veg consumption and aims to bring together farmers, retailers, fast food and restaurant chains, caterers, processors, broadcasters and government departments with a common goal of making it easier for everyone to eat veg.

The veg advertising competition run for 2 months from August to October 2017. We asked design agencies and students to design a veg ad for children and young people, and received over 60 entries.  The winner was chosen by a panel of children alongside advertising legend Sir John Hegarty, from Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Michael Moszynksi from LONDON Advertising, and announced at three Vegetables Summits in London, Cardiff and Edinburgh on 24th October.


Contact details

Celia Nyssens, Policy Officer


0131 226 1497


Notes for editors

For more information on the Peas Please initiative, visit: www.nourishscotland.org/projects/peas-please

Peas Please partners on Twitter @nourishscotland @Food_Foundation @fairfoodcardiff

Poster designers: @ifourdesign

We will be using the hashtag #VegPower and #PeasPlease to raise awareness of the campaign.