Pedestrians were transfixed by the sight of a scruffy teddy bear tied to a lamp-post, as sometimes happens when a child has been killed in a traffic accident. But what really got their attention was the fact that the bear appeared to be covering his mouth and coughing.
In fact, this particular bear was designed to draw attention to another kind of killer – London’s rampant air pollution. Called Toxic Toby, the animatronic wonder reacts automatically when air pollution reaches unsafe levels. Not only that, but he also tweets his dismay to politicians. Versions of Toby appeared in many of London’s most polluted areas.
Devised by McCann London and powered by BreezoMeter – an air quality measurement startup – Toby was the heart of a PR campaign that drew attention to a neglected aspect of human rights in the UK: the right to clean air. 

TitleToxic Toby
BriefAir pollution leads to 9400 premature deaths every year in London. BreezoMeter, a company that monitors air quality, wanted to use its hyper-local, real-time data to shine a light on this deadly problem and raise awareness of its brand. So the agency re-purposed the typical roadside memorial of a teddy bear to bring the issue to life. Powered by live air quality data, Toby coughed when pollution was high. The higher the pollution level, the more he coughed. Every cough generated a tweet sent directly to a local member of parliament.
Campaign Toxic Toby
Advertiser Breezometer
Brand Breezometer

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PostedSeptember 2018
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About McCann London

A hundred years ago HK McCann set out to build something. He started with a point of view and a creative department and one client; a start up called Standard Oil. They did a good job building that brand, and they built another one called General Motors. And one called Coca Cola and Microsoft. In fact out of the hundred most lasting brands of the last century, more of them were crafted at McCann than any other agency.
Why? Because we build to last. We don’t build fads or gimics or trophy shelves, we build brands. We give them a meaning and a purpose in the World and a long term vision. We take a truth and we tell it well. The proof is in the pudding; take a moment and look towards the work, and most importantly the results we have delivered for likes of London 2012, L'Oréal, Shreddies, Subway, MasterCard and Xbox to name a few.
What’s our secret? At the heart of every idea is a truth, not a fact, not a stat, a human truth that is timeless and enduring. A truth that gives meaning to a brand and how it connects with its customers, a truth that spurns timely tactics, campaign and stories, forever flexible, always connected. After all, we live in a disposable society, where products and marketing ideas come and go with amazing speed. In the world of stunts and tactics and projects and buzz words, we believe that building lasting brands with a lasting purpose is more important than it’s ever been.
McCann London - Truth Well Told. 

Latest News


Integrated creative agency McCann London is promoting cereal brand Shreddies with a brand new creative platform.


In the spot, directed by Owen Trevor at Stink, and titled ‘Shreddie or Not?’, we follow a dad throughout his normal daily life. However, this story is inventively told in stereo: to show the alternative realities after the sliding doors moment of him eating Shreddies for breakfast or not.


The simple premise shows that when you boil life down to its fundamentals, there are two types of people. Those who choose to start their day with four layers of fortified wholegrain shreddieness, and those that don’t.

The simultaneous consequences for dad couldn’t be more different. In one reality, he’s on the ball, he’s a winner, he’s his son’s hero, a loving husband. But on the flipside, he’s unlucky, accident prone and doomed to have a bad day.  

The humorous film sets a bold new direction for one of Britain’s family favourite brands, and sits under Shreddies new ‘Shreddie or Not?’ platform, which launches on 4th September and will also be supported by OOH, tactical social and digital assets.

Laurence Thomson, Co-President and Chief Creative Officer at McCann London said: “We’ve all had them… the good days and the bad. When you wake up and it feels like the world’s your oyster, and then there are those days when you get up on the wrong side of the bed.

Here we demonstrate the importance of starting your day right, with a simple bowl of Shreddies.


Based on the creative idea ‘Shreddie or Not?’, the premise is get ready for the day ahead. A big shout out to director Owen for his great vision and the team behind this campaign. Looking forward to what comes next”. 

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