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08th Jul 2024

Pubs want ‘disgraceful’ Euro 2024 advert taken off air

Zoe Hodges

“Disgusted and deeply angry.”

Landlords and publicans are outraged over a Co-op television advert shown during the Euros which encourages fans to stay home to watch games instead of going to the pub.

The 10-second advert suggests fans ‘stay in with two pizzas and four beers’ purchased as part of a deal the supermarket is running, instead of going to the pub where it is ‘hard to see the screen’.

However, the Campaign for Pubs has hit out at the Co-op, penning a letter to its chief executive Shirine Khoury-Haq asking the company to pull the advert and apologise.

The letter accuses the supermarket of “openly and deliberately undermining pubs and publicans’ livelihoods”.

It added it was “disgusted, as well as deeply angry” that the advert was targeting pubs at what is a very difficult time for the industry.

It said: “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.

“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.”

Co-op defended its advert to Sky’s Money blog saying: “The 10-second advert is a light-hearted way of highlighting to our members and customers that, if they have made the choice to stay in to watch the football, 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.”

Approximately 800 pubs entered insolvency in 2023, the highest number in over a decade.