Sainsbury's christmas ad attracts 240 ASA complaints and is Badlanded.

No sooner had the Sainsbury's - 1914 Christmas truce advert been aired, before the Guardian had Ally Fogg calling the ad 'a dangerous and disrespectful masterpiece' in their comment is free section, prompting +1000 comments debating the virtue of using historical events in ads. The Logitech ad in 2012 which depicted the same exact world war 1 christmas miracle, did not get the same reception at all - despite not raising any money at all for soldiers, thus being strictly commercial with no charity attached. Interesting....

The ASA has so far received 240 complaints about the Sainsbury's ad, most citing the cynical use of “World War One themes/imagery to promote a supermarket” as "upsetting" and "disrespectful" to be used in an advert. That £1 chocolate seen in the ad is sold at Sainsbury's and raises money exclusively for the Royal British Legion, who worked with BBDO and director Ringan Ledwidge on this ad.

The story shown is the historical event we have seen in countless films and even a couple of operas, while the tagline ends on ‘Christmas is for sharing’, a subtle reminder of charity and sharing food.

Charles Byrne, director of fundraising for The Royal British Legion, has pointed out that it's particularly poignant with this year marking 100 years since WW1 began.

“The campaign remembers the fallen, while helping to raise vital funds to support the future of living”

It's a definite badlander, and I'm sure there's at least one more advert depicting this historical event made in the 90s, but I haven't found it yet.

Meanwhile on twitter (the majority of the tweets about the ad are positive).

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Ritsuko's picture

If Snoopy and the Red Baron had been in it, it would have been immune to criticism.

Advanced Space Socialism Memes's picture

Sainsbury's were profiteering during ww1, increasing prices. They did nothing for the war effort and were part of a whole capitalist class using that pointless war to further their interests. They make this advert in a weak attempt to whitewash history.