'Disgraceful' Co-op TV advert should be taken off air, pubs say

By John Mercury July 9, 2024

Publicans have expressed their outrage at Co-op for a “disgraceful” television advert encouraging people to stay at home to watch the football rather than go to the pub.

The 10-second advert suggests people “stay in with two pizzas and four beers” purchased as part of a deal during EURO 2024 rather than go to the pub where, the advert says, it is “hard to see the screen”.

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In a letter to Co-op’s chief executive Shirine Khoury-Haq, the Campaign for Pubs accused the supermarket of “openly and deliberately undermining pubs and publicans’ livelihoods”.

It added it was “disgusted, as well as deeply angry” that the advert targeted pubs at a difficult time for the industry.

Nearly 800 pubs entered insolvency in 2023, the highest number in more than a decade.

The letter read: “You and your management team must surely be aware of what a challenging time it is for pubs and publicans, yet here you are, a supposedly ethical business, openly and deliberately undermining pubs and publicans’ livelihoods at this difficult time. It frankly beggars belief.

“At the time when businesses in England should be uniting in support of the national football team, the Co-op has instead cynically and shamelessly sought to attack another important business sector to try to boost your own profits from the tournament.”

Read more:
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The Campaign for Pubs has called on the Co-op to pull the advert and apologise for the campaign immediately.

But a Co-op spokesperson told the Money blog: “The 10-second advert is a light-hearted way of highlighting to our members and customers that, if they have made the choice to stay in to watch the football, we have a cracking pizza and beer deal they can purchase to enjoy in their homes, with the sole intention of providing great value on relevant products which customers tell us they want, especially at a time when the cost of living is high.”

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