'Boycott Tesco' calls after Xmas advert shows fully vaccinated Santa

14 November 2021, 12:06 | Updated: 15 November 2021, 07:05

Tesco Christmas ad sparks anti-vaxx backlash

By Will Taylor

A "Boycott Tesco" hashtag has been trending on Twitter after the supermarket giant released an advert where Santa Claus shows he's fully vaccinated.

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The Christmas commercial follows the theme of "nothing's stopping us", showing people enjoying the festive period – a sharp contrast to last year, when Covid restrictions severely limited gatherings.

People are shown enjoying raucous parties complete with tinsel and Father Christmas hats, ordering yuletide treats from Tesco and bribing a grotto worker to stay open with mince pies, all while Queen's classic "Don't Stop Me Now" plays.

The advert includes a number of current affairs references, with a newspaper reporting on stock shortages and an aircraft stopping and starting on a runway as it is repeatedly given permission to travel and not travel.

Things take a turn, however, when the news suggests Santa could be put into quarantine.

Read more: Tesco worker wins £50k after being 'held hostage' at work by pregnant boss

Read more: Tesco launches first checkout-free 'GetGo' store in London

The sight of a fully vaccinated Santa appeared to draw anger online
The sight of a fully vaccinated Santa appeared to draw anger online. Picture: Alamy

However, he is shown arriving in the UK and proudly displaying his Covid pass to border control, complete with a QR code, a big green tick and the words "VACCINATED" on his phone's app.

It is unclear if Father Christmas had also received his booster, as the British Government is encouraging for all eligible people.

The appearance of a fully-vaccinated Santa Claus has drawn anger from some online who called for Tesco to take the advert down.

The hashtag "Boycott Tesco" did appear, however, to largely being driven by people tweeting it while mocking anti-vaxxers for opposing the advert.

"Looks like it's going to be a much safer place to shop, given the absolute state of the people using #BoycottTesco," said one Twitter user.

"If you think the anti-vaxxers are upset now about Santa Claus having a Covid pass just imagine how upset they'll be when they find out he isn't real," said another, also using the hashtag.

Tesco was asked for comment.

Alessandra Bellini, chief customer officer at Tesco, said upon the release of the video: "We know that Christmas is a hugely important time for many of our customers and, after last year's events, that is truer now than ever.

"Our research revealed that people are looking forward to meaningful get-togethers with their loved ones again and given the backdrop of cancelled plans of last year they won't let anything stop them having a proper celebration this year."

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