Coca-Cola truck in Armistice Day row
MP slams commercialism and urges firm to ‘give us a break’
AN MP has criticised CocaCola for planning to bring its Christmas truck to a West Country city to spread “holiday cheer” – on Armistice Day.
Former culture minister Ben Bradshaw said the soft drink giant should refrain from “rampant pre-Christmas commercialism” on the day Britain will fall silent to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.
Coca-Cola’s red lorry – made popular by a successful advertising campaign in the late 1990s – has become a big attraction since it began touring the country in the run-up to Christmas.
This year it is scheduled to make several stops in the West, including a visit to Exeter in Devon on Novem- ber 11. But Mr Bradshaw, the Labour MP for Exeter, said that date should be reserved as a “special day of remembrance”.
He said: “I don’t want to be a Scrooge, but couldn’t Coca-Cola give us a break from this on Remembrance Sunday?
“This year’s is particularly poignant given it falls on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day at the end of the First World War.
“It may be too late to turn back the clock on the rampant pre-Christmas commercialism that now starts several weeks before Advent, but it would be nice to have a break from it on this special day of remembrance.”
The Coca-Cola Christmas Truck Tour, which will also visit Taunton and Bristol, is now in its eighth year.
Coca-Cola says it provides an opportunity to enjoy its “8,772 twinkling fairy lights” and a chance to listen to the Holidays Are Coming jingle
Visitors will also receive a free 150ml can of Coca-Cola zero sugar, Diet Coke or Coca-Cola Original Taste.
Announcing the tour on Monday, Alec Mellor, the marketing manager for Coca-Cola Great Britain, said: “We can’t wait to start spreading hol- iday cheer across the UK with the return of our iconic red truck.”
Yesterday a spokesperson for Coca-Cola said: “We are looking forward to visiting Exeter this weekend as part of our annual Christmas Truck Tour.
“We know Remembrance Sunday is an important and significant day for people both here and elsewhere. That’s why the event will not begin until 12pm.
“As we have done in previous years, we will be encouraging all of our crew on the truck tour to wear a poppy if they wish to and we will ensure the two-minute since at 11am is properly observed by our team when they are setting up.”
Exeter is the second stop on this year’s Coca-Cola Christmas Truck Tour, which begins today.
The truck will be in Princesshay – Exeter’s main shopping centre – on November 10 and 11, from noon until 8pm..
It will then move on to Asda in Taunton on November 13, before pitching up at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, on November 24 and 25.
It will also visit Pier Approach in Bournemouth on December 1 and 2.
We will be encouraging all of our crew on the truck tour to wear a poppy if they wish to
The Coca-Cola truck visiting Cribbs Causeway in Bristol last year
Coca-Cola’s red lorry during its nationwide tour last year