John Lewis cuts cold dog scene from Christmas ad

John Lewis has cut the scene showing a dog left outside in the snow from its Christmas television advertisement, following complaints that it condoned the mistreatment of animals.

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The retailer confirmed that two new 30-second edits of the ad will now air without the contentious dog scene.

The department store chain, which launched the campaign just 11 days ago (9 November), says: “We have taken into account all comments from people who have viewed our Christmas TV advert. 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 are genuinely sorry if this scene has caused any concern.”

John Lewis adds that the ad was approved by an independent body in a bid to ensure that the scene did not encourage the mistreatment of animals.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has received 189 complaints about the dog scene and could still investigate the ad, despite the scene being cut.

Comments left on Marketingweek.co.uk about the John Lewis Christmas ad describe the scene as “heartless” and “irresponsible”.

The advertising watchdog has also received 59 separate complaints that the ad implies that Santa Claus does not exist. The ASA will not investigate these complaints.

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