Campaign for Pubs attacks Co-op advert

The Campaign for Pubs has written to the CEO of Co-op UK.

The Campaign for Pubs has written to the CEO of Co-op UK, following the airing of a TV advert that encourages the public to avoid pubs during the Euros. 

Sent in the build up to England's quarter-final match against Switzerland, the letter asks Shirine Khoury-Haq to pull the TV ad which calls on people not to go to the pub to watch the Euros. It has also asked for an apology to publicans.

The letter points out that the advert is "publicly advising people not to go to the pub to watch Euro 2024, but instead to stay at home, away from others and watch with beer purchased from a Co-op supermarket". It goes on to say that publicans are disgusted by the advert's content.

"It beggars belief"

"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," the letter to Khoury-Haq says. "It frankly beggars belief. At the time when businesses in England should be uniting in support of the national football team, the Co-op has instead cynically and shamelessly sought to attack another important business sector to try to boost your own profits from the tournament. It really goes against everything that the Co-op movement stands for.

"We are asking you to apologise to UK publicans for this utterly crass and divisive advert and to agree to pull it, so it is not shown any more during the Euros. We also ask that you commit not to run any such adverts, telling people not to go to the pub in future or undermining pubs. Please reassure us that as CEO for the Co-op that you will stop such divisive, crass and unethical marketing now and in the future."

Pub and bar operators can read the full Campaign for Pubs letter here.

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