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Tesco and their 'All I want for Christmas is a puppy' advert

(66 Posts)
MrsLouisTheroux Sun 13-Oct-13 21:48:40

Woah! AIBU to think they have messed up bigggg time here?! (and never shop there again?!)
There is a picture in their Christmas magazine of a blurred child in front of a chalkboard which says " All I want for Christmas is a Puppy"
Their FB page is full of complaints and Tesco are denying any wrong doing, saying that it's just a picture and they are not encouraging people to buy dogs for Christmas.

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 14-Oct-13 17:36:49

I would love a puppy for Christmas but I'm obviously not going to get one.
Some message in a magazine, though ill thought out, is not going to persuade me.

LovelyVerity Mon 14-Oct-13 17:26:42

I understand that, but as they don't actually sell puppies I'd have to probably conclude they possibly aren't really trying to convince you to buy your child a puppy for Christmas.

Presumably what the advert is meant to imply is "Little Matilda wants a puppy for Christmas, but that a fecking awful idea - what you should do is buy some mass produced imported plastic shite that will be broken by Boxing Day anyway... and by the way, we have a huge selection here in our gift catologue all at very affordable prices".

Now you mention it though... a puppy might actually make quite a good christmas present ;-)

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 14-Oct-13 17:01:23

I don't see anything wrong, tbh. Most kids want a puppy for Christmas.

ScarerAndFuck Mon 14-Oct-13 16:01:53

It's not something a child has said though, not in this case.

It's something a team of advertising people and photographers have discussed, written on a wall, posed a child in front of and published in a supermarket Christmas Gift Guide circulated the length of the country despite bloody years of animal charities trying to get the opposite message across to people.

HorryIsUpduffed Mon 14-Oct-13 16:00:50

If they'd put "giraffe" instead of "puppy" it would have been cute and suitable.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 14-Oct-13 14:15:13

>Maybe they asked the child what they wanted for christmas & thats what the child said

in which case you'd have hoped there would be a responsible adult somewhere around who'd explain that pets - especially puppies - are living things not Christmas presents.

noitsachicken Mon 14-Oct-13 14:13:33

Hmm I agree this is not great marketing, and wrong to promote any pet as a gift. But it is just something kids say.

What was the ad a few years ago where the family was inside having a lovely Christmas and then put the dog out in the snow? That was worse.

I used to work in animal rescue and actually puppies were rarely dumped after Xmas, it was always about 6 months later when they weren't so cute!

One year just before Xmas we had a family who wanted to give up their husky puppy, we said yes we have space bring it down, but they decided to hold on to it until after Xmas so they could have it in the photos!!!!

HavantGuard Mon 14-Oct-13 14:01:16

From the Dogs Trust

Our famous slogan was created by Clarissa Baldwin, Chief Executive, in 1978 but is still as relevant today.

The longstanding campaign aims to raise awareness of the consequences of treating dogs as gifts or toys. Every year hundreds of thousands of children plead for the latest fad or top toy on the market, only to discard them a few weeks after Christmas when the novelty wears off. Unfortunately, the same perception is also apparent with dogs. We are continually seeking to change this.

"A dog is for life, not just for Christmas".

TheBigJessie Mon 14-Oct-13 12:19:59

Erm, Tesco may not sell puppies, but they sure sell dog food, toys, and I think pet insurance!

This reminds me: maybe I should complain to Wilkinsons. As you walk past the pet food, toys, etc section in my local store, you see a notice which says, "did you know that pets can teach children responsibility?" in a speech bubble from a smiling staff member. Underneath it gives staff member's name and job title of "pets advisor" or something.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Mon 14-Oct-13 12:02:50

It's an incredibly stupid phrase given the years of campaigning by animal welfare charities to stop people buying pets as Christmas presents. No it's not telling people to buy puppies, but it IS putting the idea out there that animals are acceptable presents. This is an advert in a GIFT GUIDE after all.

ScarerAndFuck Mon 14-Oct-13 11:49:05

They have used the image in an advertising brochure.

No they are not selling puppies, it's not an advert for a puppy, but it's a catalogue filled with Christmas gift ideas with GIFT GUIDE written on it in big red shiny letters and they are promoting an idea that animal welfare charities have worked very hard for years to discourage.

They could have used anything else in place of the word puppy that doesn't involve an animal being given like a toy.

In the same way that they were irresponsible to brand halloween costumes as 'psycho ward' outfits they are irresponsible to brand puppies as Christmas gifts.

They have teams of marketing people who are presumably well educated and well trained and someone on those teams should have had some idea of the campaigns against thoughtlessly buying animals as Christmas gifts and the problems faced by shelters in the new year when these pets become nuisances and get thrown out.

The opposite page has a set of personalised photo gifts. The photo's on these gifts are advertising photo's featured elsewhere in the magazine and show a family opening a present, a girl holding a doll, a boy playing drums in front of a Christmas tree, a baby, a woman laid on a rug reading something, a little girl playing with some bath products and two woman with their heads together while one of them holds a phone.

So they could have had "all I want for Christmas is a photo gift, a jute bag, a cushion, a baby doll, a mug, a drum kit, a calendar, a canvas frame, some bath stuff, a phone" anything relevant to the things they are selling.

LovelyVerity Mon 14-Oct-13 11:21:45

But Tescos don't sell puppies.

Just sayin'

So on balance, I think they are unlikely to be advertising them.

I haven't seen the magazine so can't see the opposite page (which I feel is totally relevant to the context) but as far as I can see it's just a picture of a child having written what they want for Christmas. Which is a puppy. Loads of children want puppies for Christmas, I don't see that this is an advert, just a typical Christmas scene. Big fuss over nothing IMO. You'd have to be an idiot if seeing that advert made you think "Oh, I'll buy a puppy for Christmas because Tesco is telling me to!"

Also, all these people refusing to shop there until the advert is removed, it's in a magazine, that's already been published. It can't be magically wiped from all magazines that people have taken from the shop. The best they can do is remove magazines that haven't been taken yet and re-publish without the picture.

MidniteScribbler Mon 14-Oct-13 10:23:13

I'm a dog breeder and I'm already getting the bloody christmas emails. No I cannot deliver you a puppy on christmas morning that is exactly eight weeks old and has the markings you want. I don't have a vending machine of puppies. I don't care that all your children will be so happy on christmas morning when they get a puppy, they'll be just as happy with a new xbox or whatever other consumer crap you buy. If you want a puppy, put some damned thought in to it.

Badvoc Mon 14-Oct-13 10:17:10

Dear tesco and asda,
Please see John Lewis for how to do a Christmas advertising campaign.
Love badvoc.

Badvoc Mon 14-Oct-13 10:16:28

God, they just keep getting it so wrong, don't they?

ScarerAndFuck Mon 14-Oct-13 10:10:47

I saw the picture on Friday and thought it was a bit thoughtless of them.

Would have been far more sensible to write something they actually sell or leave off the last couple of words, 'All I want for Christmas is...' and leave it to imagination rather than use a puppy of all things.

And I say this as someone who was given a puppy for Christmas last year and didn't want one. DH thought it would be a good idea as we had recently lost one of our other dogs. I was not happy at the time.

We still have him, he's loved and well looked after, but that's not the point. It could have been very different as so many animals are abandoned after Christmas when people realise what hard work they are.

Not something to be encouraged lightly, when it can lead to an animal being neglected, abandoned or put to sleep.

And given the serious response to the badly named halloween costumes some supermarkets were selling recently, it's sad to see that animal welfare isn't taken as seriously, either by Tesco or by some posters here.

Coupon Mon 14-Oct-13 09:52:58


NicknameIncomplete Mon 14-Oct-13 08:59:56

Maybe they asked the child what they wanted for christmas & thats what the child said.

I have the magazine & i didnt even notice the picture. I dont see the big deal.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 14-Oct-13 08:48:37

Lots of chidren ask for animals and all sorts as they believe santa is magical and can bring anything.

I cant see what Tesco have done wrong either, its just a wish from a child. Not an actual puppy in a box being handed over.

MrsLouisTheroux Mon 14-Oct-13 08:37:50

The picture is in their 'Christmas gift guide' .

MrsLouisTheroux Mon 14-Oct-13 08:30:59

BTW, I am not an Animal rights campaigner don't like dogs but I see the harm in this nevertheless.

MrsLouisTheroux Mon 14-Oct-13 08:29:04

Berstie: they will have just thought "Ooh, what's Christmassy?" I think that is the problem here, thoughtless and a bit stupid. As for it not being an advertising campaign, I get your point but everything Tesco puts out is part of their advertising campaign otherwise they wouldn't bother.
One picture in a magazine with a million (?!) copies will distribute this idea ( picture) to a pretty wide audience. Some people are possibly a bit dim and will think "Ooh, that's a good idea". It undermines the message Animal rights campaigners have been trying to put across for years that's all.

MiaowTheCat Mon 14-Oct-13 08:24:36

Tesco are VVVVVVV unreasonable...

It's fucking October!

BerstieSpotts Mon 14-Oct-13 08:17:42

Yes technically it's an advert. But not what most people would assume was meant by an advert. It's not an ad campaign, is it? It's just one picture. I assumed from the thread title that this was a billboard campaign or TV ad, that kind of thing. I'm not in the UK so I wouldn't have seen it.

If it was one of these, then yes, absolutely, please do get worked up about it (my comment about boycotts was probably because I forget other people have more money and cars and things and so can choose where they shop easier than me) - but a one off picture in a magazine is nowhere near in the same league. The job of choosing the pictures will have been given to somebody who has nowhere near the training and/or experience of someone who is paid to come up with nationwide ad campaigns, they will have just thought "Ooh, what's Christmassy?"

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