The John Lewis ad with the boy dancing to Stevie Nicks attracted plenty of complaints as soon as it was released, so much so that John Lewis had to take to social media to explain the ad.
Explaining the ad wasn't enough, and now they've once again taken to social media announcing that the ad has been pulled, and new customers to John Lewis home insurance will be contacted to learn what the insurance they bought doesn't cover.
Please see a statement on our latest Home Insurance campaign below: pic.twitter.com/n07OClgqGn
— John Lewis & Partners (@JohnLewisRetail) October 27, 2021
Will this settle things? Probably not. While some people saw a kid with behavioral problems, ad people saw poor planning and forgetting to check with legal, and even blamed this debacle on working from home. Others noted that it's possible that people didn't dare raise objections against the trans flag colors and a drag queen-styled kid in an advert for fear of losing their jobs in the current climate. Certainly, there were many people outside of the advertising industry who read a completely different story into the ad, not related to home insurance.
Meanwhile, the ad itself has received new life, as it's been reslated at the end to sell something other than home insurance by a creative prankster out there.
That ad is a lot like the Zazoo.com condom advert from Belgium in 2002, which was an early example of a web viral advert.
Some people in the neighboring country the Netherlands are happily embracing this John Lewis variant as a real ad for Durex.
— Herve Van de Weyer (@HerveVandeWeyer) October 23, 2021
So I guess it wasn't a terrible ad, after all, it was just for the wrong client.