MARKETING: Jack v. Mac

With the spunk of a David attacking Goliath, the Jack-in-the-Box fast-food chain is slinging pebbles at the monarch of hamburgerland, McDonald's. For the past seven weeks, TV ads in seven U.S. cities have touted such Jack attractions as spotless premises, new uniforms, quick service and indoor seating. So far, so conventional—but as the ad ends, the TV screen fills with the well-scrubbed faces of eight Jack-in-the-Box employees who squeal: "Watch out, McDonald's! Watch out, McDonald's!"

The brash ads open a new battle in a marketing war that so far has been fought mostly...

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