John Lewis releases 'let life happen' insurance advert
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The department store’s “Let Life Happen” ad for its home contents insurance policy first ran on October 11 and starred a young boy dressed in his mother’s make-up, dress, jewellery and heels.
The boy is seen marching around his home smearing paint on the walls, kicking shoes at lamps, throwing an umbrella at a vase, spilling a glass and throwing glitter into the air.
However a ruling by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found that the ad’s content could be potentially misleading because it suggests that the insurance might cover deliberate damage.
John Lewis has pulled the ad, apologising for any confusion caused.
A spokesman clarified that its accidental damage cover was available as an add-on to its new home contents insurance product and only covered accidental, not deliberate, damage.
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A John Lewis spokesman told Express.co.uk: “We would like to clarify that accidental damage cover is available as an add-on to John Lewis’s new home contents insurance product and only covers accidental (not deliberate) damage.”
The company is contacting every customer who purchased the new home contents insurance cover from October 11 to October 31 individually to confirm that they understand these points and are happy with their purchase.
The company explained: “This advert has been withdrawn because the Financial Conduct Authority considers the content to be potentially misleading and could cause customers to be confused about John Lewis’s new home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.
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“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.
“We would like to clarify that accidental damage cover is available as an add-on to John Lewis’s new home contents insurance product and only covers accidental (not deliberate) damage.”
An FCA spokesman said: “Financial services firms’ marketing must be clear, fair and not misleading.”
Before the FCA ruling, the advert has been causing controversy.
Some viewers slammed it for being sexist as the boy is not told off for being destructive while his sister plays obediently in the corner.
Commentators accused it of “agenda-pushing” and sexism while others said it depicted “male entitlement” and “gender extremism”.
In response to these accusations a spokesman for the chain said: “Our advert is a dramatic, fictional story showing our main character getting carried away and dancing to his favourite song – unaware of the unintentional consequences of his actions and does not show wilful damage.
“If customers have Accidental Damage Cover with our Home Insurance, this would cover a range of major and minor home disasters – which includes unintentional breakages caused by children in the family.
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“We carried out customer research on the advert prior to its launch and this was well received.”
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