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Homeless charity calls supermarket advert placement “tone deaf”


A homeless charity has responded to an “unfortunately placed” billboard for Waitrose.

The “Look forward to chilly winter nights” OOH has been placed in one of Manchester’s most notorious homeless spots.

DEPAUL, which works with young homeless people in the city has partnered with TBWA\MCR to place its own poster in reply.

It states: “or look out for those who are dreading them” with a QR code encouraging passers-by to donate “a warm bed to a young homeless person this winter.”

“Young people are facing cold nights on the street and we want to raise awareness of the urgent need to give a safe, warm place to stay tonight,” said Julia Billington from DEPAUL UK’s Fundraising & Communications team.

“Our poster reminds us to help those who are not only not looking forward to a chilly winter, they are absolutely dreading it.” 

TBWA\MCR created the advert for free.

Prolific North spoke to Waitrose’s press office this morning to inform them about the billboard’s placement and a spokesperson gave us the following statement:

“This advert focuses on a seasonal product, typically enjoyed during winter. We understand that many people are facing challenges at the moment, which is why – together with our customers – we’re working with charities to offer support. These include food banks which help homeless people, and organisations helping families cook healthy meals on budget.”

The supermarket added that it supported charities including food redistribution charity FareShare; and the Trussell Trust, a nationwide network for food banks. Since 2017, it had donated “the equivalent of over 10m meals worth of food to local organisations.”

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