The John Lewis Christmas advert contains scenes that many dog lovers have found offensive. I started a Facebook page which 1000 people joined in the first twenty four hours, and there is a petition too which within a day had over 1000 signatures.
John Lewis ignored us, then they fobbed us off then they misled us. This is the email that was sent to me, it is this wording which caused a story to run in my local paper which was picked up by the Telegraph (who did not contact me) :
We have taken into account all comments from people who have viewed our Christmas TV advert. The theme focuses on the tradition of buying, hiding and wrapping presents for loved ones. We've received lots of positive comments, but we are aware that a small number of people don't like the final scene of the advert. Our intention was to portray a poignant moment where the little boy shows affection for his dog by putting a stocking on his kennel. We purposely show a lovingly decorated kennel and the breed of dog was specifically chosen as one that is used to being outside some of the time. Rannoch is a well loved pet and his owner is very happy with how he is portrayed. We also had a dog handler present at the shoot (approved by the animal consultants and trainers association), and our advert was approved by an independent body, who ensure that no scenes are shown that encourage the mistreatment of animals. We are genuinely sorry if this scene has caused any concern. This weekend we will be launching shorter versions of our advert which have a different ending.
That makes it sound like they are responding to us and changing the ad - when in fact they are not. That is the statement that is now misleading the BBC News Online to run with the story that John Lewis has changed the ad in response to our protests, well they haven't and here's the email I had from John LEwis that proves it:
Thanks for the chat earlier. As promised here's a few lines to confirm our conversation.
The 60-second version of our commercial will continue to run until the end of this weekend with the dog scene still in. There may be other occasions between then and the 18 December where this version of the ad will run but these will be rare.
There are two new 30-second versions of the commercial which air from tomorrow and these do not contain the dog scene. As I said, it was always our plan to introduce shorter versions at this time and indeed there may be other versions which we run later on in the campaign.
We do really appreciate your feedback and whilst we'll probably never agree on this specific scene, I hope you can at least see that we have listened to the many different opinions about the commercial and made our decisions with the best intentions.
John Lewis is proceeding exactly as they were before - they have not listened to or addressed our complaints at all. BUT they are misleading the BBC and the media in general into thinking they are doing so. I spoke to a journalist from the BBC who said that they can only run with what they are given - well I am going to run with what I was given.
John Lewis are using a misleading statement to fool the media into thinking that they have changed the advert in response to complaints, but they are still running the ad, will run it as and when they want to until the 18th of December and they have indicated no intention of changing course.
If you have a blog or you are a member of a dog forum - or any Internet site that you can repost this post, please do so. Include a link to the Facebook Stop The John Lewis Christmas Ad page and help get the truth out - because otherwise this may be the only place you read it.
Facebook page : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-the-John-Lewis-Christmas-Ad/170227882...
Up until now I avoided posting links to the DogCast Radio site as I do not want to cash in - or be perceived as cashing in - on this furore. However, at the moment this is the best forum to post the full contents of this post and get the truth out.
Finally, it's not the specific dog in the ad or his treatment that has sparked all this; the message of the ad is that it's ok to keep a dog outside in the snow in inadequate shelter. This is dangerous and wrong for so many reasons. United we can have a strong, effective voice and speak up for animals. Don't let John Lewis have his cake and eat it.