WHAT HAPPENED NEXT CHRISTMAS ADVERTS
After a 700,000-strong petition to get Iceland’s ‘too political’ Christmas advert shown on television succeeds, the Advertising Standards Authority considers it only fair to let other supermarkets re-release their ads with controversial messages included. Sainsbury’s creates an extended cut of its child-dressed-as-a-star promo to make clear the star was, in fact, one of those found on the flag of the EU. And John Lewis recasts its Elton John ad about his very first piano to instead focus on Jeremy Corbyn getting his very first soapbox.
With a no-deal Brexit resulting in more than 90 per cent of British companies either moving abroad or going into liquidation, Christmas adverts in 2019 take a markedly a different tone. Most are just a single title card reading, ‘Help a retailer out this Christmas. Please, just buy something.’ Others make clear they are willing to sell their stores, fittings, even staff. The Co-op’s commitment to selling British produce results in a no-frills campaign focused on spam and turnips. And then there’s Timpson, which merrily announces business is fine, because it weirdly always is. In future years it will adopt the Windmill Theatre’s famous motto, ‘We Never Closed.’
Desperately attempting to revive the high street, the Prime Minister, Michael Gove, makes a surprise announcement at PMQS. ‘It is my great pleasure to say that, 47 years after Wizzard so eloquently made the case, this Government will finally deliver on their wish for Christmas every day,’ he says. ‘We welcome the right honourable member for Lapland.’ It means there are now only festive adverts on TV, a situation tolerated for precisely two days, after which the public negotiates a weekly minimum spend they’d need to meet in order to make it all stop. ‘My plan worked perfectly,’ Gove says. —