PRIVATE Eye magazine has a column called Desperate Marketing, which chronicles the barely believable lengths businesses will go to so they can latch on to current trends as they try to flog their goods or services.
The latest is ‘Dress your dog as Squid Game players and guards with these Halloween costumes’ – an offer spotted in the Daily Mirror.
But such cringeworthy efforts pale into insignificance compared with a company cashing in on a pandemic. But that’s what Tesco’s recently-unveiled Christmas advert does, featuring a Santa Claus who brandishes a vaccine passport to get into Britain.
It’s rightly caused a furious backlash, with 1,500 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, mainly on the grounds that ad is coercive, and encourages medical discrimination based on vaccine status. The ASA says it is reviewing the complaints to ‘determine whether there are any grounds for further action’.
And we’ve only just said farewell to Black History Month, which was relentlessly pushed by all the big retailers, not to mention the constant harping on by supermarkets about their LGBTQ-friendly credentials.
Time was when you could go to the shops and just buy something. Now, with every push of your trolley, you face propaganda for whatever the current trendy issue is.
It’s getting that way that some supermarkets will probably make it a permanent fixture of your retail experience. Look for the sign over the aisle that says Milk, Dairy Products, Butter, Fresh Woke Causes.
Better still though, they should all announce a product recall –and take the politics out of shopping.