If you find it off-putting that Best Buy is sticking it to Santa Claus in its "Game On, Santa" ads, that is nothing compared to a new ad by UNICEF (much better known for Halloween.) The New York Daily News is one of the few major media outlets to notice UNICEF turned Santa into a jerk.
"Santa won't bother going to poor countries this year, so the United Nations Children's Fund will go instead," reporter Roque Planas, "or at least that's the message behind a satirical new UNICEF advertisement released in Sweden."
In a sometimes confusing and grammatically questionable rant, Santa then explains why health care doesn't make for good Christmas presents.
"This ain't no Christmas gift. So, you buy this products for your friend, and all this stuff goes to poor kids? Like in Africa?" Santa asks, before skeptically examining a vaccine bottle with a magnifying glass, shaking a bottle of pills and squirting the contents of a syringe into the air.
The Santa depicted in the commercial doesn't care much for the accompanying Christmas cards either.
"What am I supposed to say when I hand this out? Ho! Ho! Ho! Here's your picture of the gift you never got?" Santa says, while holding up a card branded with the UNICEF trademark.
"I don't do poor countries," Santa says in a villainous tone.
The commercial closes with a written message from UNICEF saying "We go where Santa doesn't -- Buy your Christmas gifts at unicef.se."
Though the Stockholm-based firm Forsman & Bodenfors produced the ad in English and Santa rails against the world's poor in an American accent, the UNICEF Web site referred to in the commercial is written exclusively in Swedish.
UNICEF's stocking stuffers include malaria tablets, rehydration bags and polio vaccines.
Why on Earth would jolly old Saint Nicholas resent aid for the poor? Is this just another way the UN bureaucracy asserts its own moral superiority?