New Co-op 'Christmas' ad slammed

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The Co-op's big summer TV ad - an irony-laden, tongue-in-cheek number featuring Andy Williams' The Most Wonderful Time of the Year soundtrack - has gone down so poorly with Co-op employees that they are blasting it on Facebook.

Chucking snowballs around a garden in soaring temperatures isn't that funny, they say. Hanging stockings on a garden trellis? Um...

Love it, hate it

For ad-land, the divided response is plenty of free publicity. "Love it or hate it, our latest ad has certainly got people talking," the Co-op's marketing head, Helen Nunn, told the Guardian, "but, judging from our scorching sales over the Wimbledon weekend, the Andy Williams soundtrack isn't putting people off shopping with us."

The summer BBQ ad was created by agency Leo Burnett. Christmas imagery is all over it, with sandpit angels and a couple kissing over a sprig of something green - rocket probably. However the Co-op has taken some criticism to heart, cutting the amount of time the Williams soundtrack is played in stores.

"It's depressing enough as it is with Christmas stock coming in as earlier [sic] as it does without the music being rammed down our throats every other song," one member of staff was quoted in Marketing Week from the Co-op's Facebook page. "Get rid of the bloody Christmas song," said another post, "its driving us demented and sick of customers moaning about it."

Creative?

Either way it's a an illustration of the sometimes loathsome power of advertising and the creativity, or its lack, when deploying client cash. Alternatively, you may have thought: "Wow, so creative! A Christmas song in July! Thanks Co-op for making my summer so magical!"

Let us know if the ad fills your Co-op trolley - or not. Meanwhile the Co-op Group remains under pressure in attempting to fill a £1.5bn capital black hole. An action group representing pensioners and some retail investors in Co-op bank bonds are now pushing for a rethink of the bank's rescue plan.

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