John Lewis have come under fire from animal rights protesters regarding their Christmas TV ad which contains a scene whereby a boy is placing a Christmas stocking on his dogs kennel.
The ad has spurred a flurry of activity on both the John Lewis facebook page and in addition ardent anti-kennel activists have set up their own stop the ad site, which has now attracted a massive support, frequently unseen with facebook campaigns, of over 2,000 people, though apparently some are incensed that the site has also attracted the unwanted attention of so called 'trolls'.
The controversy hit new heights when a leading person from the facebook campaign was interviewed on Radio 2. It was made clear by them that it was felt to be inappropriate for a dog to be outside during cold weather - though it was then clarified during the interview that the dog was indeed a deerhound, and that this particular breed was suited to colder conditions. Unfortunately the campaigner was not aware of this but then clarified by saying it was the actual kennel which was the cause for concern.
For the uneducated, the kennel in question is 'illegal' and does not provide adequate housing for a dog - as of the time of writing, confirmation on the legality of the build and the structural survey are eagerly anticipated from both sides. A new hotline will also be set up and we will publish the number once this is available. Concerned owners will be able to call in to question what type of stocking is allowed dependant on the breed of dog in question and to check that their fairy lights have the correct fittings for the type of kennel. Since the ad aired there is now a worry that the housing of dogs in kennels outside will be driven underground and that 6ft fences will be erected around the country to stop snooping neighbours reporting owners for having 'illegal' kennels. This has mostly effected travellers who believe that any excuse has been made to drive them off the land they are on.
In response to the controversy, John Lewis are showing shorted versions of the ad to help pacify anyone offended. Advice has been made that if the ad runs longer than 30 seconds viewers should briefly change channels to avoid the offending scene (as this is only shown on the 60 second ad). There have also been calls to only show the ad after the watershed, when children will no longer be watching, as concerns have been raised that a child seeing their parents hiding their Christmas gifts in the loft would blow the assumption that Father Christmas delivered them.
On a positive note, despite the number stating they will no longer shop at John Lewis due to the nature of the ad, the leading retailing have confirmed of soaring profits and of full car parks. A supporter of the ad claimed that he had been inundated for details of free parking places and jovially exclaimed that he would need at least 10 times more to keep up with the demand.