Sainsbury’s supporters rally in force following racist backlash over Xmas campaign

Ad depicts a black family as they discuss the festive season.

Sainsbury’s has received abuse online for its Christmas ad, Gravy song”, which depicted a phone call between a father and his daughter during the festive season.

The ad, which is one of three spots created by Wieden & Kennedy London for Sainsbury’s Christmas campaign, was released to celebrate food, family and memory during the holidays.

However, the ad was subject to racist comments from some social media users who were offended by the brand's use of a black family.

Responding to the backlash, a spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said: “At Sainsbury's, we want to be the most inclusive retailer. 

“That's why, throughout all our advertising we aim to represent a modern Britain, which has a diverse range of communities.”

They continued: “We have three stories of three different families in our advertising.”

Diversity member and radio presenter Ashley Banjo chimed in on the backlash, making reference to his own experience of racism after Diversity performed a Black Lives Matter-themed performance on Britain’s Got Talent, which led to more than 24,000 people complaining to Ofcom.

Taking to Twitter, Banjo wrote: “Welcome to the ‘trigger the racists’ club.”

Others online were quick to note that not all Christmas ads feature white families, with reference to Argos’ bright blue alien family and Aldi’s celebrated festive ads, which features a family of carrots.

Comedian Munya Chawawa created a spoof video of how a racist (who claims not to be a racist) may complain in-store following the ad.

The clip quickly explains that “you can be black and celebrate Christmas”, which really shouldn’t have to be explained in 2020.

Many people are excited to visit their local Sainsbury’s with the knowledge that racists will no longer be visiting the supermarket for their weekly shop.

Some also pointed out that Jesus – the person traditionally celebrated at Christmas – was not white.

The ad has also received some more sincere responses from viewers who appreciate being represented in the supermarket’s advertising, including Deenie Davies, who appears in the ad.

This article first appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign

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