Tesco’s normally much-anticipated Christmas ad has been met with a strong response over its featuring of Santa Claus with a COVID vaccine passport, as well as other 2021-specific features, such as stock shortages, the return of office parties as well as international travel.
The mega supermarket chain’s festive ad has prompted, however, over 1,500 complains so far, making it the most complained-about advert of the year in the UK.
Entitled ‘This Christmas, Nothing’s Stopping Us,’ to the tune of Queen’s Don’t Stop Us Now, depicts members of the public determined to enjoy Christmas as they once knew it, such as gatherings with family, friends and colleagues, and a return to in-person shopping after sweeping lockdown restrictions in the country last year prevented celebrations.
One particular scene which has provoked complaints shows a TV reporter with ‘breaking news’, telling her audience that “Santa could be quarantined”. It then shifts to Santa at a check-in desk at the airport, displaying his COVID pass, proving he has been fully vaccinated.
Complaints by viewers to the UK advertising regulator say the scene is coercive and encourages medical discrimination.
Complaints on social media reached fever-pitch by those who oppose the COVID vaccine and argued that the 90-second ad encourages vaccine discrimination.
It premiered on Saturday and was produced by BBH, a London-based ad agency that described the ad as a “rallying cry to show we’re made of harder stuff this year”.
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The feature was originally launched in 2016 but has since developed and become more interactive to attract new users