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John Lewis Xmas advert - poor, poor dog

(56 Posts)
ScaredOfCows Thu 18-Nov-10 19:16:47

I know there was a thread about the JL advert generally, but how do other 'dog people' feel about the ad? Specifically about the poor dog left out in the cold, at night, with inadequate shelter. It makes me really cross every time I see it, and I wonder if any idiots out there might think it's ok for them to keep their dog like that. PS, I know that some dogs are outdoor dogs, and I guess that's ok if they have always been and have a good shelter etc.
Anyway, I have complained to the ASA about it.

Interested to know what others think??

MiasmARGGG Thu 18-Nov-10 19:18:09

I think your mad.

ScaredOfCows Thu 18-Nov-10 19:19:39

Really? Oh well.

tuggy Sun 21-Nov-10 05:46:13

I think the dog is just an actor... it wasnt real

Vallhala Sun 21-Nov-10 08:51:11

I think that it normalises animal abuse. For a large and hitherto respected company - in this case almost an institution in Britain, as familiar as Marks and Sparks and fish n chips - to give the seal of approval for this sort of treatment to be practised is bloody appalling.

The vast, vast majority of those I know in rescue, animal welfare and animal rights are in agreement with me. JL have lost my custom and that of many I know as a result of this.

Owing to the complaints they have received, they have removed the scene from their 30 second advert but not from their 60 second one.

We are not appeased!

As I said in another thread about this, John Lewis can shove their wares up their arse as far as I am concerned!

StealthPomBear Sun 21-Nov-10 08:56:51

i haven't seen this advert and can't imagine how "dog out in the cold" = "family friendly, luxurious Christmas" message that they are no doubt trying to portray. Will try to watch it

whiteliesaregoodlies Sun 21-Nov-10 09:35:49

I just watched it on youtube, I didn't for a moment imagine that they were really leaving a dog out in the snow, but I'm with stealth - it didn't exactly give me a warm fuzzy feeling. Strange choice for a huge company like JL.

LotteryWinnersOnAcid Sun 21-Nov-10 09:37:16

I complained to advertising standards and encouraged several of my friends to, who agreed with me that it depicted animal cruelty and, and did.

I know it is just a "doggy actor" etc but actually there are dogs who will be left out to suffer in conditions like that and I agree with Vallhala - the JL 'institution' is normalising this sort of practise.

It's just so bizarre - obviously the dog doesn't want a bloody stocking, he wants to come indoors and snuggle up by the fire with his family! I find it strange that they wouldn't depict THAT, which I think would be the normal, idyllic, 'fairytale' image of a pet dog at Christmas, rather than a shivering, sad-looking pooch, confined to an open kennel in heavy snow.

bedlambeast Sun 21-Nov-10 10:01:10

Message withdrawn

smoggii Sun 21-Nov-10 10:53:01

it maks me go Grrrr.

I know the actor dog was fine, fake snow, well pampered between takes etc. But what concerns me is the idiots that will watch it and think it's ok to stick their pooch outside with inadequate warmth and shelter after watching the advert - and there will be at least one.

Vallhala Sun 21-Nov-10 11:44:00

Oh smoggii, surely you are too thick to know that the dog is a well cared for actor?

John Lewis seem to think that I am, at any rate!

They also think that I am too thick to be aware that they are going to show a shorter version which doesn't contain this offensive crap AS WELL AS CONTINUING TO SHOW THE ONE WHICH DOES!

This is the response to my complaint to JL, received a few minutes ago:

"Thank you for your email about our Christmas advert.

I am very sorry to hear that you've got some concerns with it's content. Even though the majority of our customers have reacted positively, we recognise that a small number were upset.

The advert focuses on the tradition of buying, hiding and wrapping presents for loved ones. Our intention for the end scene is to show a poignant moment where the little boy shows affection for his dog by putting a stocking on his kennel. We purposely see a lovingly decorated kennel and the breed of dog was carefully 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 to reassure you 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 that this scene has caused you concern and we can tell you that this weekend we will be launching shorter versions of our advert which have a different end scene.

Yours sincerely,

Kevin Jordan

Vallhala Sun 21-Nov-10 11:50:17

And this was my reply, which I have clearly cc-ed to a broadsheet, pro animal welfare journalist, a UK animal rights email group and to someone in AR who I know has an even bigger contact list than me and who will send JL's reply and the info that the ad is to continue to be shown to rescues, animal welfare supporters and volunteers and AR groups across the country. Oh, and I put a nice, clear message at the top of Mr Jordan's reply to ask her to do so. :

Dear Mr Jordan,

Thank you for your reply. I am fully aware that the dog used in the advertisement is just an "actor" and have no doubt that he is well cared for, albeit that his owner is somewhat misguided in accepting this particular offer of work and I really didn't need to be assured of this.

Far from there being a "small number" of people who are upset, you will find that the very vast majority of those of us in the 'front line' of dog rescue see things quite differently to your advisors and we are in no doubt that the scene encourages the maltreatment of dogs by normalising unacceptable housing conditions. As distasteful as it is to me I am aware that a Wolfhound might suffer less in an open kennel in the snow than, for example, an Irish Setter, but sadly many of the people whom I and other rescuers end up dealing with do not realise this. We do not need John Lewis to condone this type of behaviour.

Additionally, contrary to common belief, it is the pre-Christmas season - i.e. now, at the time at which your advert is going out - which is the hardest for rescue, with dog pounds full, more dogs in need than there are rescue spaces and healthy dogs being put to sleep in their hundreds on a weekly basis in dog pounds throughout the country. A dog may by law be killed within seven days if they are strays and immediately if they are handed in by owners.... and all too frequently they are.

We know undoubtedly that dogs are thrown out in the streets prior to Christmas not only to make way for the new puppy or to enable the owners to buy the latest gadgets but also to make way for visitors or to allow the owners to spend Christmas somewhere other than at home. Well done John Lewis for condoning an alternative way of ill-treating dogs!

I am already aware that you are launching a 30 second advert which does not contain this scene. However, I and the majority of those involved in animal welfare and rescue are also aware that you are not withdrawing the sixty second advert which does contain this offensive, crass scene.

There will be no more hand-made curtains, no more Bosch washing machines, no more linens, insurance, gifts, computer items and accessories or household items from John Lewis for me or my extended family.The amount my mother and I alone spent in John Lewis over the past twelve months would probably pay the wages of at least three sales assistants. Not much in the big scheme of things, but as I have already stated, I am far from alone in knowing that this advertisement is damaging, misleading and ignorant and that proclaiming the launch of an alternative advert whilst you omit to state that you are going to continue to show the longer, offensive one, is cynical and insulting in the extreme.

I've referred my complaint to ASA and will be forwarding your response below to my contacts in animal welfare and rescue countrywide.

Bella32 Sun 21-Nov-10 13:17:37

With you 100% Val wink

SoupDragon Sun 21-Nov-10 13:58:47

I've just watched it on You Tube and, whilst I kind of see where you are coming from, it didn't make me think it would be OK to stick Dill out overnight in a kennel in the snow. I can therefore see JLs POV too.

I did think that I'd love Rannoch and his house though.

LadyintheRadiator Sun 21-Nov-10 14:09:45


melpomene Sun 21-Nov-10 14:20:06

Vallhala, are you seriously saying that you and your mother have spent enough in John Lewis over the past twelve months to pay the wages of at least three sales assistants (45k?), or is that hyperbole? I'm just trying to imagine how anyone can spend that much in one shop.

Vallhala Sun 21-Nov-10 14:29:56

SoupDragon, I accept that it didn't make you think that it was okay to stick your dog out in an open kennel in the snow and that it won't make other sensible, reasonable people think that it's acceptable.

However, the owners I often get to meet in my rescue work are not sensible and reasonable. They are, to put it bluntly, often bloody stupid, if not downright cruel. They're the let the dog they got from rescue only yesterday off the lead in the park sort, they're the must get rid of the dog because I'm pregnant type, the it's a staffie ergo it's dangerous kind, the type who get rid of their puppy because it poos on the floor then go out and buy another pup the following month, the sort who think it's okay to let Rover wander out of the garden and walk himself. These people exist, I've dealt with all these types and more.

These are the types who will and do think that it's normal and acceptable to leave a dog in an open kennel in the snow.

RealityBomb Sun 21-Nov-10 14:32:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RealityBomb Sun 21-Nov-10 14:36:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Vallhala Sun 21-Nov-10 14:50:50

melpomene, the washing machine which my mother bought from JL recently alone cost over a thousand pounds (yes, yes, I know, extrotionate!). Add to that the tumble driers we have both bought from there, the washing machine I bought, the 2 laptops, the computer and the printer purchased there over the past 12 months, the 4 pairs of hand made cotton velvet curtains to fit sod-off huge sash windows (tie-backs alone came to a total of £300!), the small appliances, the linen and soft furnishings, the birthday and Xmas gifts habitually purchased in JL... probably FOUR assistants!!

Seriously, my mother doesn't shop anywhere else for furniture, gifts, white goods, household appliances or the very vast majority of her soft furnishings and over the past couple of years I haven't been far behind her (just not bought as much as I'm not as frivolous comfortably-off as her. Add to that the insurance policies held with JL and it all racks up.

(PS I won't be shopping at sodding Waitrose any more either!).

jellybrain Mon 22-Nov-10 14:23:14

Not a dog owner yet but, my immediate reaction was- if you love your dog enough to give it a lovely knitted stocking for christmas you wouldn't leave it o/s in a kennel especially in the snow! What a bizare advert - def doesn't make want to rush out to JL. Well done Vallhalla for taking a stand.

DoorstoManual Mon 22-Nov-10 14:35:48

You are all mad, it is an advert, the dog was an actor and the snow was fake.

This country is on its knees and you lot are losing the plot about an advert.


Vallhala Mon 22-Nov-10 14:48:04


The point goes straight over some people's heads, doesn't it?

DoorstoManual Mon 22-Nov-10 15:09:55

Yes it certainly does Valhalla, do you really think JL give a shoite what dog centric nutters think ?

midori1999 Mon 22-Nov-10 15:23:28

I agree it is giving the wrong message to some people who are too think or unconcerned about animal welfare to know better. They were discussing this on Radio 2 this afternoon and quite a few callers stated they would no longer be John Lewis customers. I never shop there anyway, or Waitrose, I don't consider tham value for money.

That said, some dogs do actually like being outside. One of mine would choose to be outside 24/7 if she had the choice, including in the snow. She loves being outdoors. She's crazy, and I make her come in, but that's what she likes.

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