Tesco on back foot after Twitter plastic bag donation debacle

Tesco on back foot after Twitter plastic bag donation debacle

Tesco on back foot after Twitter plastic bag donation debacle2

Fundraising | Leon Ward | 18 Sep 2013

Tesco was forced at the weekend to deny false claims by Twitter users that it was to donate all funds raised from the government’s new plastic bag levy to Help for Heroes.

Within moments of Nick Clegg’s announcement at the Liberal Democrat conference of a 5p bag tax that would raise funds for charity, several Twitter users had already decided which organisation Tesco should donate its funds to.

An embarrassing online exchange started when members of the public descended onto Tesco’s Twitter account and tweeted messages of “congratulations” and “thanks” in response to Tesco “deciding” that it would support the UK’s military charity.

One tweet from parody account @IDS_MP, which impersonates MP Iain Duncan-Smith and has over 15,000 followers, called on other supermarkets to follow suit and was re-tweeted over 30 times with a potential reach of over 43,000 users.

Tesco tweets

Tesco’s Twitter controllers soon realised what was happening and its public timeline was soon filled with tweets to individuals declaring that: “We have not made a statement or commented as a company on this subject. This is not something we have committed to.”

However, as the social media mishap developed, members of the public used the opportunity to suggest Tesco was betraying the UK’s armed forces and one user responded to the official line with: “Outrageous attitude, our armed forces will be appalled.”

Another accused the supermarket of “snubbing our armed forces” and suggested Tesco must “like bad publicity” because the incident followed the horse meat scandal which hit the headlines earlier in the year.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “Our support for service charities is something we’re really proud of and we work with many, including Help for Heroes.  Over the weekend we held another nationwide collection in our stores for Help for Heroes, which is expected to have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds.”






Barry Gower
GAIN - Gift Aid Consultants
18 Sep 2013

Now here's an idea which may help Tesco and would certainly raise millions for all charities.

How about Tesco institutes the donation of ClubCard points to charity. They do currently have a very limited scheme where this can be done as a ClubCard 'reward', to a handful of charities, but what I am proposing is that each Tesco ClubCard shopper could choose to donate their points to a charity of their choice. Not only would this raise vast amounts of money, it would also help Tesco as charities would encourage their supporters to shop at Tesco so that they could earn points to donate to charity. There would be no real cost to the shopper, as the ClubCard points would be paid for by Tesco.

But best of all this CAN be done with Gift aid, making the value of the donation 25 per cent more.

So come on Tesco will you pick up the gauntlet?

Steve Cast
Managing Director
Redbourn Business Systems
18 Sep 2013

Sorry but this is ridiculous and I felt compelled to say so.
Whatever your thoughts on Tesco, the whole point of the levy is surely to reduce the amount of plastic bags ending up in landfill by prompting us to think about whether we really need a plastic bag each time we buy a pint of milk or whatever. At what point did it become about donating to charity, because wouldn’t that prompt some people to buy plastic bags to support Help for Heroes?

Let’s keep the two issues separate. By all means pressure Tesco to donate to such charities but as for the plastic bag levy let’s keep that for what it is, an incentive not to use bags when you don’t need to or to carry your own when you do.

Steve Cast, MInstF


[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear


  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Commission ‘urgently assessing’ Kids Company’s funding position

6 Jul 2015

The Charity Commission has said it is in contact with Kids Company following recent media reports over...

Sector leaders urge Chancellor to bring forward review of the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme

6 Jul 2015

Nine charity sector umbrella organisations have warned the  Chancellor that if he does not address...

Camila Batmanghelidjh steps down at Kids Company

3 Jul 2015

Camila Batmanghelidjh has stepped down from her role as chief executive of Kids Company after a joint...

Business models of medium-sized charities 'no longer working', CFG conference hears

2 Jul 2015

Diminishing public funds and emerging social needs will render the business models of medium sized charities...

Peers debate changing definition of social investment

2 Jul 2015

The House of Lords last night debated whether to change the definition of social investment and whether...

Breast Cancer Now loses a quarter of its staff after merger

30 Jun 2015

Breast Cancer Now has reduced staff numbers by a quarter since the merger, through a mix of redundancy...

Institute of Fundraising unveils new mobile-compatible website

3 Jul 2015

The Institute of Fundraising has unveiled a new mobile-compatible website which it says better “reflects...

Get a mobile compatible website or lose donors, Google executive tells charity conference

2 Jul 2015

It is "not an option" for charities to have websites which don't work on mobile, because donors are increasingly...

Contactless donations set to soar, CAF study suggests

24 Jun 2015

There is a “massive future” for charity donations using contactless payment technology, according...

Join the discussion

Twitter button