It’s bizarre enough that Waitrose and ITV have taken it upon themselves to recruit the 70,000 pickers needed to stop fruit and veg crops rotting this year.
But it gets even stranger when the accompanying ad campaign by adam&eveDDB is a reworking of the famous “Choose Life” monologue from Trainspotting, about a group of Edinburgh junkies.
This time round, the message is “Pick fruit” and the words are just as hollow and depressing as the original. And then you click on the Pick For Britain link and get a ruddy Prince Charles lecturing from his vegetable patch about the significance of this “unglamorous and challenging job.”
Later in the year, Wonderhood Studios is making a film for ITV following the journey of several people who have volunteered to be a part of this “ground-breaking new land army.” It sounds like a nightmare replacement for the cancelled Love Island.
Irvine Welsh, author of the book on which the film was based, is not amused. He Tweeted “Pick #brexit Pick being conned by inbred toffs telling you immigrants now trying to save you were f**king up your life. Pick exploitative slave labour wages… pick all the shite you didn’t read on the side of a bus. Or don’t. It’s picked for you.”
Waitrose denies that Trainspotting is the inspiration, saying “It’s our campaign and the repetition of the word ‘pick’ is to draw attention to the Pick for Britain campaign.”
Even if that’s true, it shows how deeply Irvine Welsh’s work is embedded in our culture. Here’s the original: