Try as it might, purveyor of burgers to the planet McDonald's is finding it hard to shed its junk food image In Australia.

Brand consultant Landor Associates says the fast food titan's A$40 million ($30m, €23m, £16m) Australian campaign to promote its healthy alternatives and lifestyle changes last year was lost on the nation's consumers.

They still see McDonald's offerings as fattening and unhealthy and the company was ranked low on trustworthiness, ethics and general desirability by the 1,000 people surveyed in February.

Rivals in the A$7 billion fast food market Subway and Boost Juice, on the other hand, were viewed positively in the survey.

Says Subway's Australian marketing manager Barbara Tonkin: "We've always been about healthy sandwiches, while salads is just one of a number of products McDonald's sells."

McDonald's has disputed the findings and cites a 10% rise in sales last year to A$2 billion. It also says its healthier initiatives such as Deli Choices and low-sugar buns were introduced after the survey period.

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff