Tesco, a UK-based supermarket chain, has launched their first ‘Christmas’ commercial of the holiday season, featuring a multicultural cast and multi-religion symbolism, but conspicuously omitted any overt references to Christianity in the ad.
The advertisement is the first in a campaign called ‘Everyone’s Welcome’ in which the company aims to celebrate the ‘diversity’ of groups who celebrate Christmas – and presumably to also target a rapidly ‘diversifying’ consumer base.
A variety of different families and individuals are featured, including a Sikh man in a turban, a group of Muslim women in hijabs, a presumably gay couple with a baby, but no ‘Christians’ – unless one is to assume that whiteness and Christianity are synonymous. The inclusion of a church gathering, a home with a crucifix on display, or even a vicar, priest or nun would have seemed logical, but no conspicuous Christianity can be found in either the 30-second or one minute versions of the commercial.
“This year, our campaign will celebrate the many ways we come together at Christmas, and how food sits at the heart of it all,” said Alessandra Bellini, Tesco’s Chief Customer Officer, of the campaign. “We want our customers to know that however they choose to do Christmas, and no matter what they need, we can help – Everyone’s Welcome at Tesco.”
The ad is not very popular with social media users, who have taken to ridiculing its overt political correctness.
Interestingly, many of the top comments are on the subject of halal meats, with customers expressing outrage over their belief that Tesco secretly sells meats that conform to Islamic butchering practices, which some consider inhumane.
Additionally, many consumers feel they have a right to know which products are halal certified, as fees quietly paid to Islamic organizations trickle down to mosques – and may potentially fund terrorist groups.
While unpopular on Twitter and Facebook, the commercial’s most up-voted comments on YouTube, where users are arguably the least accessible of the three major social media platforms, are the most telling, as virtually none are favorable.
“Can’t even enjoy a Christmas advert now without multinational corporations using their influence to push pro diversity propaganda,” reads the top comment.
German supermarket chain Lidl came under fire earlier this year for removing Christian crosses from packaging on Greek yogurt.
“We avoid the use of religious symbols because we do not wish to exclude any religious beliefs,” said a company spokesman. “We are a company that respects diversity and this is what explains the design of this packaging.”