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Waitrose changes Christmas advert after it got slammed for glorifying sun tans

Claire Reid

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Waitrose changes Christmas advert after it got slammed for glorifying sun tans

Waitrose has changed its Christmas advert following complaints from viewers that it ‘glorified’ sunburn.

This year the supermarket’s festive advert showcased the year-long hard work that farmers put in to making sure shelves and fridges are full at Christmas. You can see the advert here:

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During one scene in the advert, the sun is shining as a couple of farmers pass each other on tractors, with both lifting up the sleeves of their t-shirts to show off the very uneven sun tans on their arms.

The advert was criticised by viewers and by skin cancer charity Melanoma UK, which said the supermarket failed to highlight the dangers of tanning.

In a post on Twitter, the charity said: “Waitrose can do better than this.

“Many organisations have used examples of tanning in their advertising. Unless they are doing this responsibly and warning of the dangers of overexposure to the sun, then they need to stop it.”

This particular scene has since been removed by Waitrose, with a spokesperson saying: “Our ad celebrates the care and effort that our Partners and real farmers – who work in all weathers – put in to make sure our customers have what they need for Christmas.

The advert originally featured two farmers showing off their tans. Credit: Waitrose and Partners
The advert originally featured two farmers showing off their tans. Credit: Waitrose and Partners

“While we included some light-hearted and ‘true to life’ moments, we’ve listened to the comments made about the serious message of sun safety and will be using an updated version of the ad to address these concerns.”

In a post on Twitter, the retailer wrote: “This year's Christmas ad celebrates the CARE we put in year round to make Christmas SPECIAL.

“You may notice we've cut a short clip, as we've listened to comments about sun safety.”

Prior to the trimmed down version, one viewer had said the advert was a ‘kick in the teeth’ to those who attempted to promote sun safety.

The ad was described as a ‘kick in the teeth’ to those who try and raise awareness of sun safety. Credit: Waitrose and Partners
The ad was described as a ‘kick in the teeth’ to those who try and raise awareness of sun safety. Credit: Waitrose and Partners

The Facebook user wrote: "[It’s] absolutely astonishing that a company like yourselves should be showing farmers glorifying in their sun tans.

"This is a kick in the teeth for all melanoma patients and for all the organisations trying to educate everyone on the dangers of sun tans. What on earth were you thinking to include this in a Christmas advert? Words fail me."

Another, on Twitter, wrote: "Do you really think the part with the farmers comparing their tans is funny? As someone with stage 4 melanoma, I don't."


Featured Image Credit: Waitrose and Partners

Topics: TV and Film, Christmas, Health, Cancer

Claire Reid
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