A scene from 'Christmas is for Sharing' (Photo: Sainsbury's)

Centenary Update: UK watchdog rules out inquiry into supermarket Christmas truce advert

Posted on centenarynews.com on 29 November 2014
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Britain's advertising regulator has decided not to launch an investigation into a Sainsbury's supermarket advert featuring the First World War Christmas truce.

The Advertising Standards Authority said it had found no grounds for further action after 'careful consideration' of the 727 complaints received.

The Sainsbury's TV advert, called 'Christmas is for Sharing,' kicked off a lively public debate, with comments ranging from 'worthwhile' and 'tastefully done'' to 'cynical and 'disrespectful.'

In a statement, the ASA said: "While we recognise that some have found the use of the First World War for advertising purposes to be distasteful, the ad is not likely to break the rules surrounding serious harm or offence. We also considered that the ad is obviously distinguishable from editorial content and therefore is not likely to mislead."

Verdict welcomed

Sainsbury's welcomed the regulator's verdict, saying it had been 'delighted with the overwhelmingly positive response' to the advert from customers since the first screening on November 12th 2014.

The supermarket group describes the commercial as a 'creative interpretation of Christmas Day 1914,' when British and German soldiers laid down their arms and emerged from the trenches to exchange greetings, mementoes and play a game of football.

A chocolate bar, shown as a hidden gift to a German soldier, is being sold in the run-up to Christmas to raise money for the Royal British Legion, the forces' welfare charity which runs the annual Poppy Appeal.

A Sainsbury's spokesman told Centenary News: “We are very pleased that the ASA has decided that there are no grounds to investigate our Christmas advertisement. 

"We partnered with The Royal British Legion, in the 20th year of our relationship with them, to ensure we tell this story with authenticity and respect and to help raise awareness and funds for the important work they do.  

"Through the sales of our commemorative chocolate bar, which is featured in the ad, we are well on the way to raising an additional half a million pounds.”

Sources: Advertising Standards Authority, Sainsbury's

Image courtesy of Sainsbury's

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News