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02 November, 2012

Waitrose keeps Christmas TV ad plain and simple to give more to charity

At a time when many retailers are unveiling lavish television adverts in preparation for Christmas, Waitrose has today announced that it will be breaking with convention in order to donate more money to good causes.

Instead of a scene decked with holly, tinsel and baubles, the supermarket’s signature advert this year features Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal against an unglamorous backdrop.

Britain’s favourite cook and the nation’s most inspirational chef stand side-by-side in an empty studio with just a three foot high perspex fixture and some green plastic tokens as props.

The duo explain that instead of making a ‘fancy TV advert’, Waitrose has decided to donate the money saved as an additional £1m to good causes through its Community Matters ‘green token’ scheme. This is on top of the £600,000 it would normally donate to local good causes through the initiative during November and December.

Both Delia and Heston will be waiving their appearance fees in support of the idea.

Waitrose’s Marketing Director, Rupert Thomas, said: “At what is a difficult time for many people across Britain, we feel that Christmas is the right time to give more back to good causes in the communities we serve.

“There are no snow machines, no festive glitter, just an echoey studio stripped bare of Christmas trimmings. By cutting back on our production costs we can channel an additional £1m to local good causes.”

The campaign, which will air on You Tube for the first time on Friday and debut on television on Saturday November 3rd, during a break in the X-Factor, will have the strap line ‘Giving more this Christmas’.

The 1,700 charities benefitting will be local to their Waitrose branch – and customers will have a chance to influence how the money is distributed by choosing a charity with the green token they’re given at the checkout.

Customers shopping online at Waitrose.com in the six months to February 2013 will have their say in directing £150,000 to their choice of national charities presented when they checkout their order. This represents an extra £100,000 on top of what Waitrose would normally donate on behalf of online shoppers in that period.

Waitrose customers shopping in branch will also have their own chance to share in the spirit of the advert by making a donation to a local foodbank outside the entrance to their local shop. Customers will be invited to buy an extra grocery item which will be distributed to good causes in their local community.

Notes to Editors:

o During November and December each core Waitrose branch will be donating £3,000 a month to local good causes while convenience shops will have £1,500 to distribute.
o In total 1,700 local good causes will benefit during November and December.
o The charities benefitting from Waitrose.com online donations in September - November are: RNLI, Multiple Sclerosis Society and Child Bereavement Charity. From December - February it will be: the Trussell Trust, Teenage Cancer Trust and Bipolar UK.

For more information contact:

Amy Shields
Senior Manager, Corporate PR
e: amy.shields@waitrose.co.uk
Suzanne Hetherington
Senior Press Officer, Corporate
t:01344 82 4006
f:01344 82 5211
e: suzanne_hetherington@waitrose.co.uk