‘Boycott Tesco’ Supermarket’s Christmas ad faces backlash over double-jabbed Santa

Tesco releases 2021 Christmas advert featuring vaccinated Santa

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Tesco’s Christmas advert has sparked a massive backlash with more than 3,000 complaints in just three days, making it the most complained about advert of the year. The advert features Father Christmas bearing a COVID-19 vaccine passport, which is what prompted thousands of complaints. Anti-vaxxers have now launched a #BoycottTesco campaign on Twitter. 

The advert prompted thousands of complaints to the Advertising Standards Agency after many viewers branded it discriminatory.

Titled This Christmas, Nothing’s Stopping Us, the advert shows Tesco customers determined to have a Christmas with their friends and family after lockdown restrictions prevented many people from coming together last year. 

During the one and a half minute ad, a reporter appears on TV to tell viewers “Santa could be quarantined” – but he is then shown presenting his Covid pass at border control to prove he has been vaccinated and can enter the country without restrictions.

The festive ad, set to Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen, sparked major backlash online as people who are against vaccine passports accused it as being “discriminatory”. 

Television presenter and nutritionist Gillian McKeith tweeted: “#Tesco has a new Christmas advert that celebrates #discrimination and #segregation via a fully jabbed Santa who shows his medical status!”

Adam Brooks added: “Blimey, I missed this last night, but I bet Tesco bosses are sweating right now. 

“Who the hell thought it was a good idea to show a vaccine passport in their Xmas advert?! I’m not surprised #BoycottTesco is trending. Idiotic.”

Mr Free Speech commented: “I have used @Tesco my entire life, I will never shop in one of their stores again unless a formal apology is issued #BoycottTesco. Keep politics out of corporations! We must boycott Tesco.” 

However, many social media users praised the supermarket for its “genius” Christmas campaign. 

TC Cornesto tweeted: “Absolute f****g genius stroke by Tesco, to show Santa using a vaccine passport on his phone. Immediately triggered all the anti-vaxxers into boycotting the store, meaning it’s the safest place to go and do your supermarket shop. So many birds with one stone.”

One More Good Man added: “It’s a strange old world. Hordes of anti-vax loons wanting to #BoycottTesco because they delivered some very clever marketing in their Christmas ad. 

“I know this won’t make them happy but the only people boycotting Tesco are them, which makes shopping there safer for all of us.”

Isadora Sinha commented: “Love this advert! Funny and light-hearted while still drawing attention to the fact we are in a pandemic and must all do our bit – namely make sure we’re vaccinated. Happy to go @Tesco  knowing the anti-vax #BoycottTesco morons won’t be there!”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has confirmed it was reviewing the complaints to see if they warranted an investigation for a potential breach of the rules.

A spokesman said: “We’ve received over 3,000 complaints regarding this ad.

“We are currently carefully reviewing these complaints to determine whether there are any grounds for further action.

“The large majority of complaints assert that the ad is coercive, and encourages medical discrimination based on vaccine status.”

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “We respect everyone’s views and we know that Christmas is a hugely important time for many of our customers and, after last year’s events, that is truer now than ever.

“We set out to create a campaign which took a light-hearted view on how the nation is feeling and it has been well-received by colleagues and customers.

“We are still in the midst of a pandemic and the advert reflects the current rules and regulations regarding international travel.”

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