When not selling goods manufactured in Chinese prison camps, Tesco have recreated the magic of a 19th century workhouse. Telling the story of Joel, a greeting card manufacturer, the advert shows the seasonal delights of forced labour and shackles in the snow.
With an accompanying festive soundtrack, inmates are forced create Tesco value tinsel, baubles and ‘I love Beijing’ t-shirts. Instead of writing to Santa, they pass secret messages to Amnesty International inside crackers – which ironically get a bigger laugh than the original joke.
Joel travels through time to avoid child labour laws, to a time before Unions, allowing him to exploit prison workers. Naturally he could use his powers to alter the passage of history for the betterment of mankind, but instead decides to plump for cheap Christmas cards.
One human rights activist said: ‘Who do you think made everything that was so cheap? Elves?’