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How should companies advertise their wares? There has been a lot of noise in the news and on social media in the last few days concerning two adverts in particular.

The John Lewis advert is a cute story about a pet penguin who yearns for true love. Sainsburys however have opted for scenes from the trenches of the First World War. It’s the second of these which has filled the most column inches.

It’s a beautifully shot piece, well researched and carefully crafted. But that is the problem for some – that it turns the horror of war and the needless death of millions into not just a beautiful piece of cinematography but a vehicle designed to persuade us to shop in one particular supermarket, even though 50% of the proceeds from the sale of the chocolate bar seen in the advert goes to the Royal British Legion with whom the advert was made.

There is historical truth that British and German soldiers shook hands during the truce of Christmas 1914, during which time there was space for humanity and even football amongst the bloodshed.

Whatever you think of the advert, let us never forget the tragic loss of young life, but let us also remember that in the very darkest of nights a light still shines within each of us.

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