Tesco – why are you including a Muslim family in your Christmas advert if you’re not going to sell halal turkey?

Let me be clear, I am not really bothered that I won’t be able to get a halal turkey at Tesco. What bothers me is this ad is another lazy attempt at representation. It reeks of tick box diversity

In the annual battle for the best Christmas TV advert from British retailers, Tesco has, on the face of it, done a stand-out job. In its minute-long advert, we see 14 families celebrating Christmas. On first view, you have to hand it to Tesco for representing Britain in all its wonderful diversity.

In one scene, three Muslim women and a young child embrace each other in a tinsel-decorated house with a wreath hanging on the front door. Viewers who have taken to social media saying they are boycotting Tesco for including Muslims in a Christmas TV advert are showing their ignorance. You see, many Muslims – myself included – will spend time with our families, eating and watching movies on Christmas Day. In this way, we’re no different to most families in Britain for whom Christmas has no religious significance whatsoever.

So I’d understand you thinking that Tesco has done a good thing to represent Muslims. But pay attention to the core messaging of the ad, which begins with the words “turkey, every which way” and ends with “However you do Christmas, we’ve got a turkey for you. Everyone’s welcome at Tesco.”

2 replies

  1. Firstly, let us remember that modern Christmas is a more or less secular and commercial Americanised event, and has more to do with pagan winter festivals, which is actually a great celebration, bearing in mind that people are ending one year and looking forward to the new year after a long dark period. Only a small proportion of people now associate it with religion or go to church, when in the past most people did go to church on Sundays and Christmas was a very special religious day, when the birth of Jesus was celebrated. Modern symbols of Christmas, such as Father Christmas and the Christmas tree have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus, neither has the turkey. In fact the turkey has it’s origin in America, and has also become popular in the UK, and some other places. But in many other countries various animals, even fish, are prepared. And in many cases now even vegetarian and vegan food has become popular.

    Christmas is generally a family occasion, with special food and festivities, as well as presents, and many societies have similar events. The name ‘Christmas’ has become a tradition, although it isn’t really appropriate any more for most people who are not religious. That being the case, it is reasonable to say that anyone can join in the celebrations, as many do. A turkey is not necessary, prepare your own food, just enjoy the family day in your own way if you wish. I know of many people who are Jewish, Hindu and others who do. Even have a small Christmas tree to celebrate the Winter Solstice and the New Light! And hope for peace and love! What is there not to like or approve of?

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