The world's largest maker of chips, Canada-based McCain Foods, has taken a potentially risky tongue-in-cheek advertising strategy - backing its namesake in the American presidential election.

Using a slogan "Why McCain should be in the White House," the New Brunswick company will add responses such as "McCain goes to war over oil" (referring to its avoidance of transfats), and also "McCain brings 'smiles' to millions," noting the company's disc-shaped smiley face chips.

Launching a newspaper campaign in the week that Republican John McCain's opponent Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for the presidency, the company's senior vice-president of commercial operations Frank Finn said McCain Foods had taken "a calculated risk," but thought Democratic consumers would be amused rather than upset.

"Our goal was to create a breakthrough campaign that accelerated our awareness building efforts on behalf of our unique potato product line. We're expecting this push to help us win in November and beyond," Finn told just-food.