John Lewis Christmas Ad gets a frosty reception

Monday 15th November, 2010 by Compare Pet Care.


If you’ve seen the new John Lewis Christmas TV advert for 2010, then you might have had mixed feelings regarding the last scene. It features a young boy running out in to the cold, snowy garden with a christmas stocking for the dog, he ties it onto the kennel and waves at the dog as he runs back towards the house, seemingly leaving the dog out in the cold.

The advert has already sparked a few complaints direct to John Lewis and the Advertising Standards Authority, with pet lovers believing this sends out the wrong message to the public, believing that on a cold/snowy day the dog should be in the warm with the family.

We think that on this occasion the advertising agency were simply trying to convey the sense of giving to all at Christmas, including your pets, so the idea of the stocking being tied above the kennel for the dog communicates this. Unfortunately the execution of the idea does carry the negative suggestion that the dog is being left out in the cold.

It will be interesting to see how this develops as the ad gets more airtime, here’s the advert, tell us what you think, over reaction? or genuine reason for complaint?

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  • sue

    To me the ad commercial does NOT portray a caring christmas! Quite the opposite infact a caring christmas would have shown the dog laid on the hearth in front of a blazing fire!
    By airing this ad you are sujjesting that it is perfectly acceptable to keep you dog outside in adverse weather conditions providing you buy a Christmas Stocking!
    Shame on you John Lewis!
    I was considering switching my food shopping from Waitrose to M&S as it happens! To show my disgust that is exactly what I shall be doing! Boycotting Wwaitrose & John Lewis/

  • Gillian

    Poor dog out in the cold. If you have a pet it’s part of the family. How would they like to be out there.

  • Rosanna

    I felt very low after watching this advert, I feel it condones animal cruelty. A dog left outside in the thick snow could end up with a fatal case of hypothermia. Yes, people may have left their dogs outside in the olden days, but this is frowned upon these days – why? Because its simply cruel! It is very distressing for a dog to be socially isolated outside in a kennel, it is also physically uncomfortable for a dog to be freezing cold and wet from the snow. If you have a pet, take care of it. If you want something to leave outside in the garden whatever the weather – buy a wheelbarrow.

  • Jayne

    Definitely gives out the wrong message. Dogs should not be left in the cold, if they have to live outside they should be adequately protected from the elements. This part of the ad should be removed.

  • Alexandra James

    It does send a wrong message, I am very upset and dissapointed. I know I will not be shopping in John Lewis this Christmas.

  • Sarah

    I too feel the scene is not necessary. While it is likely not real, there’s a real resemblence to the situations a lot of dogs ARE in, and I don’t feel John Lewis should let people think it is acceptable. I will NOT shop with them.

  • Stewart

    We are animal lovers, we have 1 dog , 1 hamster and 2 fish and over the years a cat and several rabbits. But to be honest I never even thought about the dog being kept outside in the advert until I read about it. The advert is just giving over a message of giving at Christmas.

    It actually reminds me of the cat in the bin episode. One the front page of the newspapers was the story about the woman who put the cat in the bin. Several pages in was the story of the gentleman in his 80′s who was attacked on his doorstep and nearly beaten to death. The guy was a world war 2 veteran from the beaches of Normandy. Sometimes I think the UK needs a reality check.

  • Julie Hill

    I’d have to say genuine reason for complaint.
    If you want to object to the John Lewis Christmas ad there is a Facebook page and a petition:

  • Daryl

    i really like the ad, i think however its a slight over exaggeration? Would the advert be seen as worse if it didnt involve giving a gift to the dog at Christmas? Regardless of where it is.. The dog could have been surfing/playing the drums.. But still John Lewis conveyed the image of giving to everyone in the family those who care. Its not about keepin the dog outside at Christmas is it really!? Ask yourself what the ad is really about. I hope you dont mind :)

  • B. Disraeli

    Well if we can learn a lesson here , it is that people will complain about Anything. The ad is about giving at Christmas. If you are so worried about the dog , its an Irish Deerhound , they are built to endure and are virtually bomb-proof!

  • Julie

    The problem is that by showing the dog left outside all alone it normalises the practice of excluding a dog from the house, which for lots of dogs would incur great distress. That in itself is dangerous. Many dog breeds are not capable of surviving a night outside in such harsh conditions… that set aside, why on earth would John Lewis think the public would enjoy seeing such a sight? What could they take away from that that gives them a warm glow inside? These scenes belong in adverts highlighting the plight of abused pets. For a feel-good Christmas advert a dog needs to be shown tucked up on a sofa beside the fire with his family.

  • Kathy Morris

    I think its the irony of the phrase “for those who care about showing they care” juxtaposed against the little boy battling out into the cold, to his dog who must be cold and extremely lonely. Not great thinking by the John Lewis team – did they really think the great British public would think this a good ending for their “caring”ad. If they did, oh dear, what were they thinking of!!

  • Sarah

    I personally think the whole advert Is wrong.
    Shows no warmth or even a Christmas feel about it ,
    They should watch the coca cola adverts and m&s they
    So get it right .

  • nicola smith

    i think the advert is shocking poor dog left out in the cold while the little boys heads back inside what are john lewis thinking about how will showing animal cruelty make people shop with them
    john lewis THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU AIR.

  • Zoe McDonald

    It would be just as easy to portray a dog in it’s bed curled up by the fire and the kid creeping up and hanging a stocking on it’s basket. Same message but so much nicer. The idea of leaving a dog in the snow in inadequate shelter is really sad to me. I have 5 sighthounds and they are part of the family and they WILL be curled up by the fire enjoying Xmas with the family as part of the family.
    Unfortunately a lot of people will see this advert as an ok way to keep your hound and it is not. I’m not saying keeping dogs outside is wrong, just keeping them outside in the snow, away from the house with inadequate shelter is definitely wrong!

  • al

    They are called Kennels for dogs thats why dogs have them bring them in the house no way, when I ws a lad growing up perish the thought of a dog sleeping in the house. We seem to have lost our sense of proportion in this PC country of ous surely children hould come first, just a thought. Dogs should be in a kennel outside and as for the advert I believe that JL were conveying that everyone matters at Christmas

  • guy58

    Who cares about caring this christmas? NOT John Lewis! Bah humbug to the group…Bring the poor chap in!!

  • Angie

    people need to get a grip, dogs can live in kennels and outdoor enclosures. next you’ll be saying taking a dog for a walk in the snow is cruel as their ickle paws will get a bit chilly.
    what next, a backlash against the cbeebies programme “big barn farm” due to the fact there’s a puppy called digger that lives in a kennel on the farm.

  • Woogieman

    Are you people for real?
    Millions starving around the world, human rights non-existent in parts of the globe, and you’re all SERIOUSLY complaining about a PRETEND piece of television in which a PRETEND boy hangs a PRETEND stocking out for a PRETEND dog in a PRETEND kennel in a PRETEND yard?!?!

    Hangs head in shame at what the human race has become…

  • Gill264736

    When I saw this ad for the first time I felt all warm and happy, then it got to the end and I got a nasty stab of cold/lonely as not everyone has a nice Xmas, some will spend a cold lonely day on their own and wont be luck enough to be like me, warm, well fed and with my family. I e-mailed John Lewis as I felt that it didn’t portray the perfect Xmas we all aspire to. They replied with the ‘the dog was not treated cruelly but we will be showing the ad without the dog’. People power does work.

  • Justin

    What, have u all gone mad? It’s an advert! You all need to get a life. I am an animal lover too, but what about all the farmed animals, the farmers dont go and get them all into their houses in the winter. As I said, it’s just an advert!

  • xmascheer

    Ummm its just an advert, even the dog is an actor. as people have said its an advert about giving. For all you know the dog comes in and has his kennel outside for during the day or when he wants to pop out for a wee and runs in his kennel.
    Come on people dont turn into the idiotic PC britain that im detesting.
    See it for what it is, a message of giving to all your family.
    And yes i am a very dog loving person, i adore all dogs, but i can see its just an advert and that people are not thinking, oh my god john lewis put a dog out in a kennel, ill pop out tomorrow and buy a kennel and keep my dog out there in the snow.