The Advertising Standards Authority will not investigate Sainsbury’s Christmas TV ad, despite 727 complaints on grounds of taste.
The ad, launched earlier this month, is a creative interpretation of Christmas Day 1914, when British and German soldiers laid down their arms and came together on neutral territory to share greetings, treats, mementoes and a game of football.
“We are very pleased that the ASA has decided that there are no grounds to investigate our Christmas advertisement,” Sainsbury’s said in a statement.
“We’ve been delighted with the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve had from customers and colleagues to our portrayal of the 1914 Christmas Day Truce.”
Sainsbury’s had partnered with The Royal British Legion, in the 20th year of its relationship with the organisation to ensure that it told the story “with authenticity and respect and to help raise awareness and funds for the important work they do,” the company said.
“Through the sales of our commemorative chocolate bar, which is featured in the ad, we are well on the way to raising an additional half a million pounds.”
The ASA said that after careful consideration of the 727 complaints, the independent ASA Council was closing the case.
“While we recognise that some have found the use of the First World War for advertising purposes to be distasteful, the ad is not likely to break the rules surrounding serious harm or offence.
“We also considered that the ad is obviously distinguishable from editorial content and therefore is not likely to mislead,” a spokeswoman said.