John Lewis has defended his latest TV commercial, which some viewers have described as “terrible”, “sexist” and “a misfire”.
The new ad, for Home Insurance, shows a young child damaging a family home while dancing extravagantly to Stevie Nick’s hit Edge of Seventeen.
In it, the boy smashes jewelry, smears paint on the carpet and knocks pictures off the wall as he walks through the house.
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But parents reacted strongly to the ad, with some saying it was sexist and others wondering if such destructive dancing was even covered by John Lewis insurance. Manchester Evening News reports.
Gary Powell tweeted the retailer and asked, “Dear @JohnLewisRetail. I looked at your new ad for home insurance. That means to me that you would pay for this pictured damage caused while an adult passively watches the boy destroy the house.
“Can you please confirm that this is the case?”
Responding to the tweet, John Lewis wrote, “Hi Gary, with our home insurance add-ons for accidental damage to buildings or belongings, you are covered against a variety of domestic disasters, including accidental breakages by children.”
It then linked to its website, where viewers can find more information.
The clear disregard for the house by the child when dancing was also heavily criticized.
Sarah Farman wrote: “It means for children, too, that it is okay to ravage your home. Misfires on all levels John Lewis. “
Another Twitter user, Frances Weetman, viewed the ad for a different reason.
They wrote, “The John Lewis commercial, which features a young boy devastating everything while his sister obediently sits in a corner painting, encapsulates sexism in sixty seconds.”
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A spokesman for John Lewis told Manchester Evening News: “Our ad is a dramatic, fictional story that shows our main character getting carried away and dancing to his favorite song without being aware of the unintended consequences of his actions and not showing any willful one Damage.
“If customers had personal accident insurance with our home insurance, it would cover a range of major and minor domestic disasters – including accidental breakages caused by children in the family. We did customer research before the ad was published and it was well received.”