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Advertising Racism Diversity & Inclusion

Supermarkets air joint anti-racism spot on C4 in solidarity with Sainsbury's Christmas ad

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By John Glenday | Reporter

November 26, 2020 | 4 min read

Channel 4 is supporting a united anti-racism stance from Britain's supermarkets after a Sainsbury's campaign depicting a black family at Christmas attracted offensive and racist social media posts.

Channel 4

Supermarkets to unite against racism on C4 following Sainsbury’s Christmas ad uproar

Supermarket brands unite against racism

  • The combined action was prompted by an unseemly backlash against Sainsbury's Christmas ad, which saw bigots hijack Bing Crosby's 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas' to attack the depiction of a festive black family.
  • Channel 4 has aired the anti-racism message from Waitrose, Tesco, Iceland, Asda, Aldi, M&S, Lidl and Co-op in a collective show of brand support for Sainsbury's.

  • Suspending rivalries to promote equality, the concerted messaging hit viewers during prime-time slots this Friday in two bursts, the first scheduled for 20:15 during Bake Off: An Extra Slice and a second follow-up at 10.15pm during The Last Leg.

  • On-screen calls for unity were supported by the hashtag #StandAgainstRacism which invites individuals to make their voices heard.

Standing together against racism

  • Standing firm in the face of online abuse Rachel Eyre, head of brand communications and creative at Sainsbury’s, commented: “We strive to be an inclusive retailer and we’re proud to unite with our industry colleagues to stand up against racism.

  • “We’re passionate about reflecting modern Britain and celebrating the diversity of the communities we serve, from our advertising to the products we sell."

  • Verica Djurdjevic, chief revenue officer for Channel 4, added: “As an anti-racist organisation, we are incredibly proud to stand together with Sainsbury’s and our retail partners against racism, using our national platform to call out the unacceptable reaction to Sainsbury’s Christmas advert.”

  • The supermarket stramash feeds into a broader debate over on-screen diversity this Christmas which has seen both brands and agencies diversify their use of actors.

  • Big-name brands including Argos, Burberry and Disney have all represented minorities in a year dominated by the Black Lives Matter movement from the US.

Advertising Racism Diversity & Inclusion

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Channel 4

Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster that began transmission on 2 November 1982. 

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