Grocery chain apologizes after releasing 'super spread' ad for Thanksgiving

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“Hosting? Plan a super spread,” reads a full-page advertisement printed in Giant Food’s Savory magazine.
Source: Giant Supermarket

A grocery store chain in the mid-Atlantic region is apologizing for an unfortunate blunder with a Thanksgiving advertisement printed in the latest edition of its magazine.

“Hosting? Plan a super spread,” reads the full-page ad seen in the December issue of Giant Food’s magazine, Savory. The text appears below a photo of several small eats and appetizers made for groups, including a fruit tart, cheese board and shrimp cocktail ring.

The phrase “superspreader event” has become shorthand amid the pandemic to describe places where the coronavirus has spread to a large number of people, though it’s not recognized as a scientific term. Experts told TODAY that a lack of social distancing or mask-wearing have been common threads of superspreader events, which over the months have included crowded college partiesweddings, family parties and busy bars.

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Government leaders, scientists and medical professionals have been warning about gathering during the upcoming holiday season. The Centers for Disease Control even issued guidelines, with recommendations like staying home and avoiding travel or planning get-togethers outside.

Giant, which operates in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia, acknowledged the mishap with the phrasing of its ad in the following statement to TODAY:

“We apologize for our advertisement in Savory which used the language Super Spread to describe an abundance of food. While, in hindsight, the choice of words was a poor one, Giant had no intentions of insensitivity. We continue to encourage people to practice safe social distancing practices for celebrating the holidays in line with CDC recommendations. 2020 has been exceptionally challenging for so many reasons and this year the holidays will be celebrated very differently, but we hope that food can still be a source of joy and comfort and that the ad reflects that spirit.”

The same issue of Savory magazine also featured an advertisement for Campbell’s with a green bean casserole recipe that said, “Slay the Spread this season.”

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