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Supermarkets include charities in their Christmas TV adverts

Supermarkets include charities in their Christmas TV adverts

This year adverts from some of the major supermarkets and retailers have been notable for their inclusion of a charity partner and even some associated fundraising activities.

John Lewis and Monty the Penguin and Sainsbury’s and its Christmas Truce adverts have probably attracted the most attention and debate. But there are others too.


This year’s Asda advert promotes the Save the Children Christmas Jumper campaign.


John Lewis

Following a teaser social media campaign, John Lewis’ advert featuring Monty the Penguin and which benefits WWF UK, has been viewed over 17 million times on YouTube alone.



Sainsbury’s chose to focus on the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Christmas Day Truce in the trenches, upsetting some in the process by using such a hallowed moment to sell something as prosaic as a bar of chocolate. Still, the advert supports the work of the Royal British Legion.



Waitrose’s advert involved a crowdsourcing element in which the public was invited to ‘Donate Your Voice’. The final mixed song, the soundtrack to the Christmas TV advert, is benefiting Age UK, The Trussell Trust, and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children.

Waitrose has included a charity message in two previous Christmas TV adverts. In 2012 it reflected the ongoing recession by donating an extra £1 million to charity, instead of spending so much on a glossy TV advert. Last year it highlighted its charitable support too.


As you will see, not all major retailers included a charity angle this year. Adverts by Morrisons, Marks & Spencer or Tesco have no charity link.


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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