Friday, 19 November 2010

A dog's breakfast at John Lewis

The story has now been picked up by the BBC
and was discussed on today's Radio 4 You and Yours (click to listen - 45 mins in - the 19/11/10 edition) 
Campaign highlight the high number of ASA complaints
The online version of the Daily Telegraph is celebrating what all we thought a couple of days ago was a heart-warming victory for dog lovers in the fight against the John Lewis TV Christmas advert which glamorises neglecting your dog.
If only it was the happy ending they depict.
This weekend the full un-censored version advert that normalises keeping a dog outside with inadequate shelter will show to record millions in the X-factor break. 
The John Lewis press office continues to fob dog owners off and say they have listened, but while they've edited out the dog of the shorter adverts that are to come, the 60 second advert that we, Battersea Dogs Home, Dogs Trust and the Mayhew and others are deeply concerned about is still going to run. That we are still only a small number of complaints. The concern of the biggest dog charities in Britain is obviously insignificant to them, too.
The press office continues to patronise all voices of concern with standard 'copy and paste' replies that knowingly totally miss the point and try to deflect the argument to refute that no actual abuse occurred on set. Something that no one is alleging in any case. It's the abuse the advert will cause when people try this at home.
A comment on this blog reveals: 
"I have found a dog on a dog forum I use who has already been affected by this advert. The woman's Dad now believes there's no reason why his daughters Deerhound cannot stay outside as the 'one on the advert looks fine'. She is not able to go and visit her Dad now, as she won't leave her dog outside as he is not used to it, especially not in winter! "

In the meantime anarchy rains on John Lewis's own facebook page which has been overrun with angry customers while the pop-up "Stop the John Lewis advert" facebook page has reached 1,500 followers in a very few days.
In today's article in the Telegraph John Lewis appears to acknowledge they are listening to the voices of concern and taking action - so why is this now tarnished advert still running? Is so why continue to show it?
They can't bask in the praise they get in the Telegraph while at the same time pumping out the message that it's aspirational to leave your dog out in the cold this Christmas. 
An industry PR blog was earlier highlighting how clever John Lewis had been at containing this story on facebook. 
Now the Telegraph has picked it up, maybe it stops being an 'insignificant number' of their customers upset by the advert - although what store can afford to alienate the 10.5 million dog owners in Britain? (And the 80% of British people who when surveyed said they actively like dogs.)
Just 1,500 customers leaving John Lewis for ever as the result of what should have been a feel good advert has to be a major faux would seem to be someone in every department at JL seems to be making a complete dog's dinner of handling this complaint!
They are obviously still not listening, perhaps we all need to shout a bit louder?
Once again - below is  all the places to make your feelings heard and some other blogs to read for the background of this sorry tail.

Other blogs which give more of the story:
What's the problem with the advert... what to say to those idiots that say it is 'just an advert' and 'dogs have fur, deal with it!"... click here

When we thought they'd listened: click here

When we discovered the press office had misled us: click here

A small film to warm you and warn others about what happens to dogs in the cold, the runaround JL press office is giving dog owners and the ASA complaint by Carolyn Menteith citing the Animal Welfare Act.  click here

How and where to complain and show your support:

They might ignore us, but they won't ignore these guys...
To complain to the Advertising Standards Association click here
You are asked for a specific time and place that the advert  was shown otherwise they won't register your complaint. Few of us remember to write this information down as advert is being shown so very frequently.  A recent showing was Thurs 18th Nov. Channel 4 +1. 9.50pm ad break for Beeny's Restoration Nightmare
If you dislike this advert you can make your feelings known via a petition:

click here

To email direct to John Lewis click here   

On Twitter: @johnlewisretail

To complain in other ways:
John Lewis
Helen Dickinson, Head of Press and PR
Tel: 020 7592 6222
Louise Cooper, Senior Manager, Corporate, Digital and Branch PR
Tel: 020 7592 6223

The agency who made the advert is -
on Twitter ironically: @AandE

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