John Lewis docks dog from unpopular advert

From the weekend onwards an edited version of the John Lewis advert will be running - minus the dog!

Well done everyone. Job done.

According to Marketing Week the 60 second advert was due to run for five weeks.

Here's their statement:

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 will have a different ending. 

Here was Dogs Trust's statement: 
Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, was disappointed at the canine content of this year’s John Lewis Christmas TV advertisement. The Deerhound in the advertisement appears to be kept outside alone in an open kennel on an exposed snowy hill. While we appreciate that some dogs do prefer to live outdoors and the dog used in the advertisement is a trained actor, we were nonetheless disappointed at the depiction of a dog kept alone in inadequate outside accommodation in harsh weather conditions, as part of a ‘feel-good’ Christmas campaign. Dogs are pack animals and thrive on the company of people and other dogs. We would ask retailers to consider the welfare messages conveyed when using animals in their marketing activities.


Anonymous said…
So pleased John Lewis are being compassionate over people's concerns for the poor dog.

I just wish that people here in France had similar concerns for dogs. In rural areas we witness dogs chained up 24/7 in a small run, with a kennel. They are normally hunting dogs who are only let out on Sunday mornings, from September to March.

It seems there are too extremes, dogs who are treated like babies and in fact sit at the table in some restaurants and those who live sad lives in excessive conditions of heat and cold.
ukdogwhisperer said…
I am very happy to see the John Lewis are changing their Christmas advert and it just goes to show that even though they say a small amount of people complained we all had a big voice and our point of view came across very well.
Its great to see the Dogs Trust have supported our campaign as they have to deal with the result of animal neglect and cruelty first hand.
I hope this campaign has raised awareness with our big retailers to think more carefully in the future at how they portray their advertising messages to our nation of pet lovers.

Nikki Brown
The UK Dog Whisperer - Canine Angel
Blackshuck said…
Well done to everyone who voiced their concern over this advert. I think it was a genuine misguided mistake - for me it was not the fact that a dog is kept kennelled outside, it was the discordancy of 'family pet kennelled alone in harsh conditions in an unsuitable kennel'.

The differences between suitable and unsuitable outdoor housing for dogs, and breeds of dogs that can tolerate this housing can be subtle for people who do not fully understand about breed differences in dogs. It also skips over the very important distinction between dogs that have been raised living outdoors and are used to it, and those that are used to indoor life.

The advert was more jarring and distasteful than an outright deliberate depiction of animal abuse and cruelty; unfortunately it may well have been used in some people's minds to legitimise cruelty by doing this to their pet.

Of course even when it is howling a gale and snowing outside they will still want their walks, but after that they'll want to steam off their muddy paws by the fire indoors...
We will believe it when we see it ;)

Well done to Julie Hill for her campaign which has united us all in our efforts..also to Beverley Cuddy & Carolyn Monteith and everyone else that put time and energy into supporting the cause.

I hope that John Lewis will be permanently removing the offending section of their Christmas ad as have just had to watch it in the middle of a film grr....!

Encouraging responsible dog ownership of Chihuahuas & toy breeds.
bouncersmum said…
They say they wanted a poignant moment with the boy decorating the dogs kennel?

Why not have him decorating the dogs bed/basket INDOORS?
Chapstaff said…
I think John Lewis (or Marketing Week) are 'deliberately' missing the point here when they say
" 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"

No-one was complaining at the way the canine actor was treated on set!
Carolyn said…
Don't celebrate yet.

I received this statement from John Lewis at 8.20am this morning.

"As you suggest we had always planned to introduce 30-second versions of the ad at this stage in the campaign. These shorter versions will feature a different ending. We may introduce further versions at a later stage, again this is normal for long-running campaigns. The original 60-second ad will have completed the majority of its scheduled run by the end of the weekend. "

In other words, their very carefully worded statement appears to say that they will be continuing with their original ad campaign - and are not saying they will abandon the 60 second ad.

It looks very much as if they are trying to play a 'corporate slight of hand' and mislead us into going away - and worse into thinking that they have listened to us and that they are good guys.
Anonymous said…
Rannock is a Deer hound which is a breed used to being outside some of the time. That is why he was "specifically" chosen.
I wonder why John Lewis "specifically" chose to portray a dog being kept outside in bad weather conditions as part of their "warm and cosy " campaign?
vanessa said…
My email received from JL stated that Rannocks owner 'who was also his breeder' was happy with the ad.
Maybe his breeder also saw the £ signs???

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