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Wales Online
Wales Online
Nathan Bevan

Tesco Christmas advert angers anti-vaxxers, who threaten to boycott supermarket

Anti-vaxxers have threatened to boycott Tesco after the supermarket chain ran a Christmas ad showing a double-jabbed Santa displaying his Covid pass.

More than 3,000 complaints have been made about the 90-second commercial since it made its TV debut over the weekend.

The festive clip, which has been accused of being "coercive" and encouraging "medical discrimination", features shoppers determined to enjoy this year's seasonal celebrations with relatives after 2020's was blighted by lockdown restrictions.

Read more: 'Do not watch' warning over McDonald's Christmas advert which has left people upset

Soundtracked by the vintage Queen hit Don't Stop Me Now, one scene even shows Father Christmas threatened with the prospect of being quarantined at an airport's border control he tries to enter the country.

However, he instead whips out a mobile phone to display his Covid pass, thereby allowing him to continue on his rounds delivering presents ahead of December 25.

It has resulted a social media backlash and seen the creation of a #BoycottTesco campaign, which is currently trending on Twitter.

Former TV presenter Gillian McKeith was chief among those slamming the Tesco ad, which is the most complained about of 2021 thus far.

"Tesco has new Christmas advert that celebrates #discrimination & #segregation via a fully jabbed Santa who shows his medical status," she tweeted.

"Who in their right mind in management thought this was a good idea? If you don’t #BoycottTesco then you are #complicit."

The Tesco ad is currently the most complained about of 2021 (Tesco)

Dubbing it "woke PC propaganda," another critic posted, “Blimey … 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? Idiotic."

However, those who are pro-vaccine have seen a bright side to the adverse reaction. One called TC Cornesto said: "Absolutely genius stroke by Tesco - show Santa using a vaccine passport on his phone and immediately trigger all the anti-vaxxers into boycotting the store. That means it's the safest place to go and do your supermarket shop. So many birds with one stone."

The Advertising Standards Authority, which enforces the UK advertising code, has confirmed it's reviewing the complaints to see if an investigation is warranted into a potential breach of the rules.

"The large majority of complaints assert that the ad is coercive, and encourages medical discrimination based on vaccine status," a spokesperson said.

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

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