John Lewis responds to criticism over new Christmas 2016 advert

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Kayleigh Dray
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After a pretty miserable week (no, it wasn’t a dream – Trump really is President-Elect), we were overjoyed when John Lewis released its hugely-anticipated Christmas 2016 advert to the world.

Featuring a gorgeous boxer dog on a trampoline, it seemed like the perfect antidote to all that negativity – and many viewers took to Twitter to thank the store for its heart-warming short film.

However some people were extremely unhappy with #BounceBounce – for a very unexpected reason.

At first glance, the ad seemed completely inoffensive; Buster the boxer dog, after watching his owner build a trampoline in the garden, is desperate to go out for a little jump around. After watching a crowd of cute critters (including a fox and a badger) do exactly that, he finally gets to rush out with his six-year-old mistress and enjoy the Christmas present in a gloriously festive moment.

So what’s the issue?

Well, clearly still reeling from the emotional rollercoaster that was the US 2016 election, many viewers were shocked that the makers of the ad had elected to show Bridget’s dad building the trampoline for her in the garden – and not Father Christmas.

One social media user wrote: “The new John Lewis ad has kinda ruined the idea of Santa or is it me?”

Another added: “To the kids that believe in Santa, watch the John Lewis ad and you no longer will.”

“The John Lewis advert actually made me laugh this year. But so sad they’re sending the message to kids that Santa isn’t real.”

Clearly these people haven’t considered the fact that Father Christmas dropped off the trampoline, all boxed up, and the dad took it upon himself to build it before the furore of Christmas Day. Or that some presents are from Santa and some are from your parents. Seems simple to us.

Following the outcry, John Lewis has sought to reassure people that their advert absolutely doesn’t disprove the existence of Father Christmas.

A spokeswoman for the store told The Mirror: “We're sure Father Christmas has also visited Bridget and Buster the night before.

“This is just an extra special gift from her parents because she loves to bounce.”

Thank goodness for that, eh?

Before anyone else accuses the ad of ruining Christmas, it’s worth remembering that it’s all been done to raise money for charity – and that this year’s cause is a very good one indeed.

Craig Inglis, customer director at John Lewis, said: “2016 has certainly been quite a year, so we hope our advert will make people smile. It really embraces a sense of fun and magic, reminding everyone what it feels like to give the perfect gift at Christmas.

“Each year we work with a charity which fits our ad, and we hope this year’s campaign will encourage more children to discover a love of British wildlife and encourage support of The Wildlife Trusts.”

The Wildlife Trusts’ chief executive Stephanie Hilborne said: “The Wildlife Trusts believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy of wildlife and wild places in their daily lives.

“So John Lewis putting some of our most beautiful British wild animals at the centre of their Christmas advert and making The Wildlife Trusts their charity of choice this Christmas is great news. “With this support we will be able to inspire thousands more children about the wonders of the natural world.”


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.