As well as being the season where everybody is required to display jollity to some degree, December also brings a slew of TV campaigns for big name high street chains, but this year, an advert by John Lewis has provoked the ire of dog lovers.
The ad in question depicts an Irish Wolfhound sat forlornly amid a blizzard of snow, whilst a young boy hangs a stocking over his dog kennel. The child then retreats to the warmth of his house whilst his pet looks on dejectedly.
However, even though the snow was fake and it was an advert, campaigners for animal welfare were outraged, and claimed that John Lewis were sending out the wrong message about caring for animals to children.
Presenter with DogCast Radio, Julie Hill, was moved to set up a Facebook site called ‘Stop The John Lewis Christmas Ad’ which has so far attracted more than 2,500 followers. In a complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency, she said:
“Dogs belong in the house with their people – not out in the snow in a ramshackle, doorless, bare kennel – even if it is adorned with fairy lights.”
John Lewis originally defended the advert, before rolling over and showing its tummy by editing it. A spokesperson for the store explained:
“During the process of editing shorter ads, which continues once the initial 60-second ad has aired, we will always choose the scenes which work best,” she said.
“It is apparent that some people don’t like the scene with the dog and we have used this opportunity to include other scenes that we shot but haven’t yet used.”
“We have taken the views of dog owners and dog welfare groups into consideration when editing our 30-second versions.”