The chocolate maker and the National Trust decided to change the name of its annual egg hunt to ‘Cadbury’s Great British Egg Hunt’. The event, which featured about 300 locations at National Trust properties, was previously known as ‘Easter Egg Trails’ for the past 10 years.
May said: “I’m not just a vicar’s daughter – I’m a member of the National Trust as well. I think the stance they have taken is absolutely ridiculous. I don’t know what they are thinking about frankly.
“Easter’s very important. It’s very important to me. It’s a very important festival for the Christian faith for millions across the world. So, I think what the National Trust [and Cadbury] is doing is frankly just ridiculous,” she told ITV News.
‘Spitting on the grave’
May’s comments came after the Archbishop of York likened the change of name to “spitting on the grave” of Cadbury’s founder John Cadbury.
But, Cadbury – now owned by US confectionery company Mondelēz International – said it was “simply not true” to say that the word ‘Easter’ did not feature in its marketing campaign.
A spokesman said: “It is clear to see that within our communications we visibly state the word Easter. It is included a number of times across promotional materials. Our Easter partnership with the National Trust is also synonymous with Easter, and we make it clear throughout materials that it is an egg hunt, for families, at Easter.
“We want to reassure consumers of our commitment to Easter, which is very prominent within our activity. We will continue to use ‘Easter’ prominently in our commercial campaigns, as we do now and in the future.”
The National Trust said it was nonsense to suggest it was downplaying the significance of Easter, and nothing could be further from the truth.
“We host a huge programme of events, activities and walks to bring families together to celebrate this very special time of year. A casual glance at our website will see dozens of references to Easter throughout,” said a National Trust spokesman.
“Our Easter events include our partnership with Cadbury, which has been running Easter Egg Hunts with us for 10 years. They’ve proved consistently popular with our members and visitors. As part of its wider marketing activity at Easter, Cadbury will always lead on the branding and wording for its campaigns.”