The Christmas advert….

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The ‘big’ Christmas advert is now well established as a part of the festivities, the big stores all now try to out do each other. Last years winner was without doubt the Bear and Hare advert done by John Lewis. I don’t have a problem with the concept of doing festive big adverts, they can add to the festive feel.


Normally they are fairly predictable and involve snow, party scenes and various celebrities – you can normally guess the store by the celebs they use, every so often we get a weird or wonderful advert. John Lewis seem to fill this quite well, last years was lovely and cute (so I am told), this years with the penguin is just plain weird to me – but harmless.

Last night I saw the Sainsbury’s advert, and I have to say I thought it was poorly judged. If you haven’t seen it yet this links to it. Now they have done ‘the right thing’ and it is in conjunction with the British Legion and raises funds for them – which is good.

My issue is with the subject matter, yes there was a Christmas truce in the first year of the First World War, and it is something special. But is it really the right thing to use the bloodiest war in history to sell a retailer? I don’t thinks so, to me it feels wrong and just badly judged, Sainsbury’s are using the 100 year anniversary for the wrong reason. It will be interesting to see what the reaction is as more people see it…..

A palindrome – but much more than that!

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Today we see one of those dates that is very pleasing to anyone who likes numbers – it is the 11th day of the 11th month of the eleventh year of the decade – 11.11.11. – it’s a palindrome, it appears the same whichever way it is written and only occurs once every 100 years.

If you want to be particularly ‘geeky’ you can add to this number line by adding eleven minutes past eleven on the eleventh of the eleventh 2011 – you get the idea!

However, I hope that this special date will help people remember that 11.11 has been a very special date since 1918 and is remembrance day, the time at which we have a two minute silence to remember the fallen of all conflicts. The FIFA episode this week has given me some added belief in the British support for rememberance day which has to be a good thing.

The question is – will you, or your place of work, stop for a two-minute silence?

FIFA – totally out of touch!

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I will put my hand up now to confirm that I am not a fan of football as it is now – the majority of footballers are in my opinion over paid ‘prima donnas’ who don’t have the correct attitude for their roles.

Strong words, but I believe that the ‘beautiful game’ as some of my colleagues try to make me believe it is, has completely lost touch with the real man in the street. It is frighteningly expensive to take a family to a match – even in the lower leagues, the behaviour and language in the stands leaves a lot to be desired, and the players are an appalling example in many cases for the kids of today.

And today, just to add insult to injury FIFA (apparently ‘the wise men of football’) have decreed that the England team cannot wear poppies in their next match to show respect for the fallen in the two world wars and subsequent conflicts.

A spokesman for Fifa said:

“Fifa fully acknowledges the significance of the Poppy Appeal and the ways in which it helps commemorate Remembrance Day on 11 November each year.

“As a multinational organisation comprising over 50 different nationalities, the significance of this date will also be observed by many of its employees, who will remember family members too.

“Fifa’s regulations regarding players’ equipment are that they should not carry any political, religious or commercial messages.

“Fifa has 208 Member Associations and the same regulations are applied globally, and uniformly, in the event of similar requests by other nations to commemorate historical events.”

If I am honest – I have total contempt for that decision – but it doesn’t surprise me if you look at the recent ‘form’ for FIFA.

Hopefully they will reverse the decision – or England will refuse to play (fat chance I know). If not it is yet another nail in the coffin of ‘the once beautiful game’.

Rant over!