Pubs demand removal of ‘disgraceful’ Co-op TV ad

Publicans express outrage at Co-op’s “disgraceful” TV advert promoting staying at home for EURO 2024

In response to a recent television advert from Co-op, publicans have voiced their outrage at the supermarket’s suggestion to stay at home and watch the football rather than visit their local pub. The controversial 10-second advert encourages viewers to “stay in with two pizzas and four beers” purchased as part of a deal during EURO 2024, rather than going to a pub where it may be “hard to see the screen.”

The advert has sparked backlash from the Campaign for Pubs, who have written a letter to Co-op’s chief executive Shirine Khoury-Haq expressing their disappointment and accusing the supermarket of intentionally undermining pubs and publicans’ livelihoods. The group, which represents the interests of pubs and publicans, called the advert “disgusting” and “deeply angry” at the targeting of pubs during a difficult time for the industry.

According to the Campaign for Pubs, nearly 800 pubs entered insolvency in 2023, the highest number in over a decade. In their letter to Co-op, they stated, “You and your management team must surely be aware of what a challenging time it is for pubs and publicans, yet here you are, a supposedly ethical business, openly and deliberately undermining pubs and publicans’ livelihoods at this difficult time. It frankly beggars belief.”

The group also raised concerns about the timing of the advert, as it comes at a time when businesses in England should be united in support of the national football team. They accused Co-op of “cynically and shamelessly” attacking another important business sector in an attempt to boost their own profits from the tournament.

The Campaign for Pubs has called on Co-op to immediately pull the advert and issue an apology for the campaign. However, a spokesperson from Co-op responded to the backlash, stating that the 10-second advert was intended to be a lighthearted way of highlighting their pizza and beer deal to members and customers who have made the choice to stay at home for the football.

The spokesperson explained, “We have a cracking pizza and beer deal they can purchase to enjoy in their homes, with the sole intention of providing great value on relevant products which customers tell us they want, especially at a time when the cost of living is high.”

The controversy surrounding Co-op’s advert raises questions about the impact on pubs and publicans during a difficult time for the industry. As the debate continues, it remains to be seen how Co-op will address the concerns of the Campaign for Pubs and the wider public. Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.