WAITROSE has changed its Christmas advert following complaints from viewers.
The ad shows producers across the year as they grow and harvest food for the Christmas dinner table, including a scene in which two farmers compare their tanned arms from working outside.
The supermarket previously apologised after Melanoma UK and viewers raised concerns that the scene glorified sun tans and failed to highlight the dangers of sun exposure.
One person who has melanoma wrote on Waitrose’s Facebook post that she found it “absolutely astonishing that a company like yourselves should be showing farmers glorifying in their sun tans”.
She added: “This is a kick in the teeth for all melanoma patients and for all the organisations trying to educate everyone about the dangers of sun tans.
“What on earth were you thinking to include this in a Christmas advert? Words fail me.”
Skin cancer charity Melanoma UK also criticised the advert, saying: “Waitrose can do better than this.”
The scene has now been cut from the advert.
A Waitrose spokeswoman said: “Our ad celebrates the care and effort that our Partners and real farmers – who work in all weathers – put in to make sure our customers have what they need for Christmas.
“While we included some light-hearted and ‘true to life’ moments, we’ve listened to the comments made about the serious message of sun safety and will be using an updated version of the ad to address these concerns.”
Before tweaking the ad today, Waitrose first responded to the complaints last week.
A spokesperson for the supermarket said: “We fully support sun safety and worked with a medic on set throughout the filming.
The Waitrose advert starts with a Christmas wreath being taken off a front door and a fir tree being dumped in a dustbin to symbolise the end of another year.
After that, it switches to hardworking farmers and producers beginning their holiday preparations for the next-again Christmas.
This includes sunburnt farmers working through summer to get their crops ready.
A couple of weeks ago, John Lewis released its Christmas advert and viewers were all saying the same thing.
Meanwhile, Asda’s hilarious Buddy the elf Christmas advert was praised as the “best ever” by fans.
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