John Lewis pulls controversial ad for being potentially ‘misleading’

John Lewis & Partners has announced a brand new partnership with kids bike subscription service Bike Club.
Founded in 2016 by Alexandra Rico-Lloyd and James Symes, Bike Club is the UK’s first kids bike subscription service.
// John Lewis pulls its controversial new home insurance advert for being ‘potentially misleading’
// The retailer clarified that its accidental damage cover was available as an add-on to John Lewis’s new home contents insurance product

Earlier this month, John Lewis’s latest home insurance ad, featuring a young boy dancing around his home to a Stevie Nicks song while wearing a dress, became the centre of controversy with many branding the ad as sexist.

Now the retailer has been forced to pull the advert after a financial watchdog found it could potentially mislead consumers.

The department store’s “Let Life Happen” ad for its new home contents insurance first ran on October 11 but on Wednesday the retailer tweeted that it had withdrawn the ad because the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) considered the content to be potentially misleading and could confuse customers about the insurance.


READ MORE: John Lewis faces backlash over ‘sexist’ home insurance advert


John Lewis later said its accidental damage cover was available as an add-on to its new home contents insurance product and only covered accidental, not deliberate, damage.

“You may have seen our ‘Let Life Happen’ advert for our new home contents insurance offering, which ran between 11 and 27 October 2021,” the retailer said.

“This advert has been withdrawn because the Financial Conduct Authority considers the content to be potentially misleading and could cause customers to be confused about John Lewis’s new home contents insurance offering.

“This was absolutely never our intention.”

“The ‘Let Life Happen’ John Lewis home insurance advert was created to show a joyful depiction of a young actor getting carried away with his performance, oblivious of the unintentional consequences of his actions.”

It added: “We have decided to contact every customer who purchased our new home contents insurance cover from 11 October to 31 October to confirm they understood these points and are happy with their purchase.”

An FCA spokesperson said: “Financial services firms’ marketing must be clear, fair and not misleading.”

The ad had already caused controversy before the FCA’s decision, with some accusing it of “agenda-pushing” and sexism and others saying it depicted “male entitlement” and “gender extremism”.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Very silly advert. Hey let your little one wreck the house and dress up as a girl and we will cough out. No misleading as they won’t cough up for deliberate damage. No insurer will.

    It was good sense to pull it the advert. It also debased John Lewis’s image.
    It’s also quite demeaning to Transgender people and children indicating they have no control and are out of their minds. Offensive in many ways and certainly misleading.

  2. The Skittles advert is also misleading. Totally irresponsible to encourage people to run around trying to ‘eat the rainbow’. I mean, come on, have you ever managed to find the end of one let alone bite a chunk out of one! And, there are only 5 colours represented in a packet (6 in a limited edition in the UK). Last I read there are at least 7 colours in an actual rainbow!
    Next, they will be rebranding Opal Fruits…

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