// 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ad for its new home contents insurance first ran on October 11 but on Wednesday the retailer tweeted that it had withdrawn the ad because the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) considered the content to be potentially misleading and could confuse customers about the insurance.
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“This advert has been withdrawn because the Financial Conduct Authority considers the content to be potentially misleading and could cause customers to be confused about John Lewis’s new home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”.