Re: #LidlSurprises

Image taken from the Lidl Suprises page, here.

Dear Lidl.

I really liked your #LidlSuprises adverts – the premise is a great one. Tackle the naysayers on social media, and prove them wrong – or enlighten them to your way of thinking.

Alas, I have to confess that Debbie’s Journey just doesn’t sit right with me..

I’m thrilled that the turkeys have a wonderful life there, on the ‘RSPCA approved farmland’ in Norfolk. I’m really happy that they can roam around freely, that they get fed apples as a treat. They get tucked back into bed in the barn, all cosy and safe for the night.. Then Debbie is invited to the poultry farmers Christmas dinner and there’s one of those birds right there on the table.

While you are educating the masses on your ‘free range’ culture you’ve certainly taken the time to miss out the horrifying truth about just what happens to those turkeys. The fact that at a very young age, they are taken from that sunshine-rainbow-farm-of-happiness and thrust into the very building that will be the last place they ever know. The slaughterhouse. But lets look at some of the pieces you’ve missed out on, shall we? Your advert spurred me on to research this, so I feel its only fair to share it with you so perhaps you can make an advert somehow throwing glitter at it.

The turkeys are caught – usually by gangs of people, and some are injured in this process. Imagine being chased, hunted – and struggling to get away. This, is the truth Lidl.

Then, they’re crammed onto lorries – literally crammed. This, after the ordeal of being caught and manhandled into the lorry in the first place. A loud, alien environment which probably involves hurtling along a motorway. At the other end of this journey, the true nightmare begins. I’d prefer not to delve into the details about the slaughterhouse I researched into – but you can have the visual I did. Now, your advert certainly didn’t show that part of the journey, did it?

Perhaps if Debbie had followed her turkeys to the end of their journey.. Or perhaps, watched the beginning of a new journey with the artificial insemination of the over-fed female turkeys I wouldn’t be writing this post. Your campaign to be transparent about your products, the whole #LidlSuprises ethos, yet you paper over the truth about what will happen to those Norfolk Bronze Turkeys. As I previously mentioned, I liked the whole feel of Lidl Surprises, but this one? No.

I think that the comments on your Facebook are proof enough that the advert is distasteful and incredibly misleading. As one user said: “A turkey doesn’t magically go from a berry-browsing, apple-enjoying, free-ranging bird to clean, bald and cooked on a plate..” and I think you should recognise that.

Merry Christmas, Lidl.

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  • Really? I couldn't disagree more. I have to say that there's no supermarket ever going to show the slaughter process and I think this ad goes a long way in showing kids that meat isn't something that is made in little plastic trays. So as advert go- and this is an ad remember- I think this (and an M&S one I've seen online) are promising. Was chatting to a butcher today about how he will be dressing turkeys at the abatior. I find it fascinating. And as a meat eater i like to know theae things. Bit as a marketer i know what sells.
    Also I think lots of people want to eat meat but not acknowledge that is has been a living thing with a face. So again ads like this help. But each to their own. If we all agreed on everything life would be dull. Ho ho how etc x

    • I really appreciate your view on things! I can understand how smaller butchers are able to thoroughly explain and appreciate how they slaughter – as a meat eater (fish mostly) I can't preach – but I hear so many horror stories that are completely against the happy little nature Lidl portrayed with this advert. Smaller, local butchers tend to appreciate their stock a little more, therefore can take the time to make sure things are done right – I presume, anyway! x

  • Yes! Strangely I actually participated in a survey yesterday all about this exact ad. My comments were the exact same, it's misleading.
    My dad used to be a butcher (much to my dismay) and we have friends and family who run and/or work on farms, so I know exactly what goes on. Unlike the city girls and boys who have no idea how their food really gets on their plate.
    If children and even adults were taught were meats come from I bet many wouldn't eat it either.
    Sad advert glorifying the meat trade. Great post from you. X

    • I just think its wrong to mislead people the way they do, when they have such a sketchy past with such issues. They have a whole bunch of secret filmed documentaries etc against them, and they decide to release this?

  • Excellent post and I completely agree with you. Lidl show the consumer that meat is from an animal which is a good thing but they do it in an extremely misleading way. Whilst their turkeys may indeed be happy freerange birds, this definitely does not apply to the majority of turkeys for British consumption.
    Very disappointed in a store I frequent often.

    • I almost feel like someone had the idea on a drawing board and they simply cut out the bits they deem as offensive to their brand – even though they do it anyway. We all know the birds go to be slaughtered, why release an advert making out its all sunshine and rainbows? Frustrating! x

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