The misanthrope’s advent calendar – day 15
by Pseud O'Nym
One thing that I hate about christmas – and there are many – are supermarket food adverts. At a time of austerity, when the use of food banks is increasing, it seems wholly incongruous for supermarkets to run adverts that portray tables laden with all manner of delicious foods, when for a quite a sizeable amount of the population it is not going to be their experience of Christmas.
So much for the reality for millions of Britons of savage austerity, food banks and Universal Credit. Which seems extremely counter intuitive as supermarkets are brands and brands want to be seen as inclusive as possible or equally important not to be seen as excluding or marginalizing anyone from their conversation, for fear of creating a social media backlash leading to a consumer boycott and a falling share price, giving their competitors a market advantage. Because, as Gore Vidal once said, “It is not enough that I succeed but others must fail.”
I understand that supermarkets through their advertising have to promulgate the myth that in buying the right kind of food – which just happens to be their food – you too will have the right party with the right amount of guests – the right combination of colours, genders and ages. Every table is laden with food in abundance and everyone is dressed to impress, bedecked in their finery. And no-one will be standing alone in a corner!
And then the ads become news stories in themselves; John Lewis cornered the market in ‘heartwarming’ Christmas ads, but Iceland went one better this year and had their advert banned! Apparently, it broke rules about political campaigning, highlighting as it did their removing palm oil from their own brand products.
However the latest Sainsbury’s advert is but the latest vomit fest, a rip off a rubbish film ‘Love Actually’ which if it were a soft drink would be banned due to its high sugar content.
Just once I’d like a supermarket to run an advert showing a stock image with a voiceover explaining that, instead of producing a lavish advert, they had instead donated the entire cost to a homeless charity!