Insensitive SuperValu Christmas ad as we continue to live with COVID-19

We’re in the lead up to Christmas, so all sorts of supermarkets have started broadcasting their Christmas advertisements. I’ve just seen the one from Ireland’s SuperValu

The children are worried about whether “he will come”. Obviously, most of us instantly think of Father Christmas and whether he will come. This is re-emphasised with the familiar glass and couple of mince pies left on the side. The final scene has he who was expected arriving. And no, it is not Father Christmas, it’s the child’s grandfather.

With all that is going on in the world, with the ongoing social distancing due to the pandemic, it seems incredible that SuperValu thought that it was appropriate to show a grandfather arriving in to deliver presents. I know that we all hope that family and friends will be able to visit at Christmas. But, it seems pretty clear that this is unlikely to be advised as we continue to learn to live with COVID-19.

I am sure that there are those who will think that this is an aspirational advertisement showing us a Christmas that we would all like to have. But, I think that it is irresponsible when the Irish Government has said that

No visitors to home or garden, with the exception of visits for essential purposes (for example: family reasons such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, and in particular those who live alone).

Level 3 https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/ad569-level-3/#social-and-family-gatherings

This advice remains for levels 3, 4, and 5 of the Plan for Living with COVID-19. At the time of writing the whole of Ireland is at Level 5, and will be until at least the beginning of December. Christmas this year looks set to be different from those in the past – but that is the same as everything for the whole of 2020.

We must work together to limit the spread of the pandemic. It is hard to see how the SuperValu Christmas advertisement promotes this.

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