Supermarket apologizes for COVID marketing blunder

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Image: Luis Alvarez (Getty Images)

East coast supermarket chain Giant Foods had to shield itself from backlash this week after inadvertently advertising its entertainment platters as a “super spread” in its magazine, Savory. Not exactly the best look during peak levels of you-know-what.

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Even better, the advertisement got the full-page treatment within the magazine, according to TMZ, my favorite place to read any food-related news. “Hosting? Plan a Super Spread,” reads the headline, situated beside pictures of a giant shrimp platter and a “Celebratory Cheese Board,” both of which seem to imply and encourage large group gatherings this Thanksgiving. That’s bad in multiple ways, all of which I’m sure you can imagine. Now, was the wording intentional? Personally, I doubt it. Earlier this year, this phrase would have been five little innocent words strung together—though I’m surprised nobody caught the implication and its context before unleashing this magazine upon the world.

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Marketing in general since March of this year has, I’m sure, been a challenge. How many ways can you possibly say “in these unprecedented times,” or “now more than ever,” or “we’re in this together”? Copywriters must be pulling their hair out right now. Don’t worry, brands, we see you.

It’s worth mentioning that later in the same magazine from Giant, there’s a Campbell’s ad that reads, “Slay the Spread this season.” Does this maybe cancel out the initial mistake?

Eventually, Giant apologized, saying, “While, in hindsight, the choice of words was a poor one, Giant had no intentions of insensitivity.” Hindsight is 20/20, as they say. But unfortunately, it’s still 2020.

Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.

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DISCUSSION

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Oh, well as long as you had no intentions of insensitivity, then I guess it’s fine to encourage Americans to remain selfish and put their loved ones at increased risk of death or permanent lung, heart or brain damage for purely financial gain of your company.