Tesco’s Christmas advert, which featured the tagline “Nothing’s Stopping Us”, could be pulled from airwaves after attracting over a thousand complaints in just two days.
The 90-second clip showed Father Christmas almost being quarantined as he tries to enter the country.
He is allowed in by border officials after producing his vaccination certificate, prompting other travellers to start cheering.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) told the Grocery Gazette it was “reviewing” the piece to decide “whether there are any grounds for further action”.
Viewers have objected to the “coercive” advert, claiming it “encourages medical discrimination based on vaccine status”.
— Tonia Buxton (@ToniaBuxton) November 14, 2021
The piece, which Tesco hoped would “put a smile on people’s faces”, also spawned a #BoycottTesco backlash on social media.
GB News presenter Tonia Buxton advised the supermarket to “take this ad down now”, while journalist Sonia Poulton accused it of “fascism”.
Others announced they would start shopping at Tesco because it would be free of anti-vaxxers.
Every little bit of fascism helps. #BoycottTesco
— Sonia Poulton (@SoniaPoulton) November 14, 2021
ASA guidelines state that adverts should show “protective Covid-19 measures” where “relevant”, such as social distancing and face masks.
Tesco downplayed the scale of complaints and insisted that its marketing had been “well-received”.
In a statement to this publication, it said: “We respect everyone’s views and we know that Christmas is a hugely important time.
“We set out to create a campaign which took a light-hearted view on how the nation is feeling and it has been well-received by colleagues and customers.
“We are still in the midst of a pandemic and the advert reflects the current rules and regulations regarding international travel.”
According to government data, 46 million Britons have been double-jabbed against coronavirus.