This week, ‘nan-fluencers’ take to Asda and retail crime is on the rise at Co-op.

Meanwhile comedian Ricky Gervais aimed to wow with a suggestion of how he could look as the cover star of Waitrose’s magazine.

Ricky Gervais bath selfie

Comedian and actor Ricky Gervais used X (formerly Twitter) to post a bath selfie with a bottle of Dutch Barn Orchard Vodka, stocked at Waitrose. After tagging the supermarket asking to be on the cover of its in-house magazine The Weekender, Waitrose responded with a mock-up of the cheeky selfie as the front cover with the headline ‘Ricky’s got bottle… and bares all’.

In November last year it was announced Gervais had become a co-owner of Dutch Barn parent Ellers Farm Distillery, taking an undisclosed stake in the North Yorkshire spirits business. He would take on a “creative leadership” role for the distiller to “lead global brand awareness and marketing efforts”, Ellers Farm said. Having amassed 512k views of the post at time of writing, the vodka is sure to have a few new customers this week.

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Co-op theft continues

@katie.viggars im just a girl #leeds #uni #marsdenhouse ♬ original sound - katieviggars

TikTok user @katie.viggars shared footage of her local Co-op on Burley Street, Leeds getting robbed. Retail crime is on the rise with Co-op alone suffering over a third of a million incidents in 2023, making it a record year for theft and violence against its staff, according to the retailer’s own latest crime report.

Commenters on the post were not shocked, with many calling it a common occurance they witness. @stxfsxnz wrote: “I live upside a coop and this is daily occurrence at this point, they even call the police and retain the shoplifters in the back”. @yugenshima added: “I live right next to a co op in a dodgy area and it’s constantly getting robbed”. Meanwhile, @autumngreen1 said “Was in Leeds kirkstall B&M yesturday and this woman nicked about 100 bars of cadburys chocolate. least she’s got her prioritie right.”

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Lyle’s axes the lion

Lyle’s Golden Syrup has faced a wave of criticism on social media following its recent rebranding efforts. The syrup brand announced it would be swapping its traditional logo, which depicted a lifeless lion surrounded by bees, to a newer, more contemporary lion with a lone bee.

The branding has been a constant since 1883, drawing inspiration from the biblical tale of Samson in the Old Testament. However, critics have complained about Tate & Lyle, claiming it has given in to “woke rebranding” and stripped away the Christian connotations embedded in the original emblem. 

The Lyle’s team took to Instagram to clarify that tins would keep the legacy branding, with only squeezy bottles receiving the new logo to attract a younger audience. Twitter user @cudda69 wrote: “The woke brigade strike again”, with @deathofbuckley adding “These days, you can’t even have a picture of decaying animal corpse on your branding. Sick of it”.

Some didn’t get the hubbub. @willie__rushton said: “I can think of worse things happening at the moment to be honest. Israel Gaza war, Ukraine war, Russian oppression on freedom of speech, post office scandal, PPE scandal, but hey fill ya boots with Golden Syrup.”

Read more: Lyle’s Golden Syrup rebrand – justified or cultural vandalism?


Death of the high street

Small businesses on British high streets continue to feel the burn as costs rise and consumer purses tighten. Newark butcher GH Porter Provisions posted an open letter on its door this week announcing that after 134 years of continuous trading from the same premises, it was closing its doors. It cited the cost of living crisis, falling footfall, supplier prices and energy bill increases as the reasons for closure, despite many attempts to adapt the business.

With 880k views and 400 comments on the X post, commenters included CEO and founder of Savvy @Savvy_Catherine, who wrote: “Here’s an example of just why our high streets matter and should give us all cause to stop and think. In Covid we called retailers like these the 4th emergency service.”

@AndreaD18145230 added: “I shopped here for over 40 years, since owned by Tom Blakemore & before. This is an absolute tragedy, this shop has been here since 1893, and now gone. You will never find better bacon, meat, pies, cheeses etc. We need shops like this.”

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John Lewis LGBTQIA+ Partners

Human rights campaigner and former politician Peter Tatchell used X to share his disappointment that John Lewis has pulled an exhibition by JLP’s queer staff following online trolling.

The Identity Project, JLP Edition was announced on 8 February. Waitrose and John Lewis Partners posed for portraits by award-winning photographer, Chris Jepson, to mark LGBT+ History Month.The event was set up by Pride in the Partnership – the John Lewis Partnership’s internal LGBTQIA+ network.

JLP said in a now-deleted press release that after the launch event, the portraits were to be “displayed in bespoke exhibitions throughout the year”.

But the retailer told Attitude magazine it had decided to shutter the exhibition “for the safety and protection” of its staff.

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Asda Nana

@asda I'm a Nana ... of course 🥹 #ofcourse #fyp #nantok #asda ♬ original sound - Asda

Gaining 1.4 million views in just four days, Asda’s new video in its ‘nan-fluencer’ campaign follows the ‘of course’ style TikTok trend, in which Nana Joan lists off her Asda habits. These include buying shredded wheat to have with hot milk, having a chat with the staff at the checkout and going to the café after finishing the shop.

User @gfly755 wrote: “Asda was my nan’s Monday day out and then to the cafe afterwards”. @angrymamalol said: I miss my nanny and our shopping trips”.

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