Sainsbury's First World War-themed Christmas campaign attracts criticism

Twitter has been divided by Sainsbury's "Christmas is for sharing" film, set in WWI and featuring a chocolate bar that will be sold in stores to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Sainsbury's Christmas: shows British and German soldiers coming together
Sainsbury's Christmas: shows British and German soldiers coming together

[UPDATE 14 November 8pm: The Advertising Standards Authority has received 240 complaints about the film, according to Campaign]

The film is set on Christmas Day in 1914, and tells the story of a British soldier going into no man's land separating the British and German trenches.

It shows a British and German soldier exchanging Christmas greetings as the British solider slips a chocolate bar in the German soldier's pocket.

The chocolate bar will be sold in stores for £1, with all profits going to the Royal British Legion. Sainsbury's has a 20-year relationship with the charity.

The film has divided opinion on Twitter, including criticism from historian and Daily Telegraph leader writer, Tim Stanley:

Others have praised it, with claims that it's the best of all the supermarket Christmas campaigns:

Sainsbury’s has been a partner of The Royal British Legion for 20 years, and waits until after Armistice Day to launch its Christmas campaign so stores can focus on the poppy appeal.

Charles Byrne, director of fundraising for The Royal British Legion, said: "We’re very proud of our 20-year partnership with Sainsbury’s and this campaign is particularly important. 100 years on from the 1914 Christmas truce, the campaign remembers the fallen, while helping to raise vital funds to support the future of living."

Mark Given, head of brand communications at Sainsbury’s, said: "Christmas is a special time of year when people come together to share simple moments and kindnesses.

"This year, we wanted to reflect that theme of sharing in our Christmas campaign through the lens of one of the most extraordinary moments of sharing in modern history, when on Christmas Day 1914, British and German soldiers laid down their arms, and came together on neutral territory to share stories, mementoes and even a game of football."

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