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EDITIONS
 Monday, 27 January, 2003, 08:07 GMT
Nutty return for Page Three ads
The new Big D Babe Board
Cheeky fun: Big D is celebrating a sales rise of 35%
A peanut brand has been criticised for reviving an advertising campaign featuring a Page 3 model to promote its snacks.

The Big D Girl was a common sight in pubs across the UK in the 1970s but was dropped in the politically correct environment of the 1980s.

The Babe Board featured glamour model Beverley Pinkerton behind packs of peanuts which, when removed, revealed more of the scantily clad woman's charms.

But since the Liverpool-based Trigon Foods started using new Big D girl Ruth Higham it has seen sales rise by 35%.

Original Big D advertising campaign
Beverley Pinkerton was a prominent figure during the 1970s

Ruth, 23, of Bolton, is well known to young men from her regular appearances in tabloid newspapers and lads magazines.

And the move appears to have secured the future of the company, which employs about 140 workers.

It was the subject of a management buy-out in 2002 after losing 500,000 a year following years of decline after the original campaign was dropped.

But the new adverts have been criticised by Jeryl Whitelock, a professor at Salford University's School of Management and expert on the use of gender in advertising.

There's a bit of cleavage but no nudity - it's just a bit of cheeky fun

Rob Wooley, Trigon Foods
She said: "I was surprised to see the ad campaign, particularly as it is quite old-fashioned and fairly stereotypical approach to the use of women to promote products.

"There's no relationship between a page three model and a packet of peanuts that I can see.

"I think people will be taken aback by it - maybe not offended - but certainly taken aback."

But Rob Wooley, of Trigon Foods, insisted it was not offensive.

He said: "There's a bit of cleavage but no nudity - it's just a bit of cheeky fun."

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  The BBC's Jayne Barrett
"Late last year the future of 140 jobs was in doubt"

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See also:

18 Nov 02 | Health
11 Jul 02 | England
17 Nov 00 | UK
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