A GIANT ad for carrots will be projected on to an Edinburgh landmark today as part of a campaign to get a new Veg Ad Fund off the ground.

Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has joined forces with the Peas Please initiative which aims to improve the UK’s diets.

The group is a partnership between food justice organisation Nourish Scotland, conservation charity WWF and partners in England and Wales, and claims a co-ordinated marketing push could turn the tables on unhealthy eating.

It is calling for a new, dedicated fund made up of contributions from the government, retailers and producers to allow vegetables to be advertised in the same way as branded crisps and chocolate.

The project is backed by Edinburgh City Council leader Adam McVey, with the Princes Street-facing side of the City Chambers to be used to display a specially designed poster from sunset today.

It is one of 50,00 locations set to carry the ad, including a Co-op branch in the Outer Hebrides, hoardings in Dundee and park noticeboards around Glasgow.

Peas Please claims that £296.6 million is spent on confectionery, snacks, fruit, veg and soft drink marketing in the UK each year, with just five per cent of this going on the plant-based produce.

Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “It’s time to shout about how great veg is, and how vital it is for families to buy, cook and eat more of it.

“Unlike all the junk food and confectionery we are relentlessly sold every day, our delicious vegetables are not ‘owned’ by massive global brands, so they don’t get the marketing and advertising clout they deserve.

“Having a pooled marketing budget from retailers, producers and government is a brilliant idea. It means we can get top agencies behind the marketing of veg, which will drive up demand and boost consumption.”

Heather Peace of Food Standards Scotland, which backs the initiative, 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.”

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.”