John Lewis explains why its Christmas advert was nearly cancelled during lockdown


IT’S probably the most anticipated Christmas advert of the year – but it almost didn’t happen in 2020.

The retail giant considered cancelling its annual marketing campaign as it questioned it would be appropriate during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read our John Lewis Christmas advert live blog for the latest updates

The little girl and boy who feature in the John Lewis ad

The Covid-19 crisis made the retailer “reassess everything”.

John Lewis normally starts production of ad in February – but this year held off until June due to the pandemic.

It decided to continue with the advert as it realised it could “give the gift of awareness” for its charity partners.

This year it’s aiming to raise £5million for struggling families.

A total of £4million for FairShare and Home-Start – and it’s promised £2million of that will be in matched donations from the retailer.

As well as an additional £1million donated to local charities.

It also said another factor in creating in festive campaign was down to “wanting to bring joy” to customers.

The retailer told HOAR about how it gets “lots” of emails, messages and letter in the run up and after the ad has aired.

A spokesperson said:  “We feel really flattered that so many people get so excited by our ad and want to see it in what has been a difficult year.

“We’ve had customers get in touch with us on social media asking for reassurance that we are still making one, or asking us to make it joyful!”

How do I donate to the charity appeal?

There are several ways you can help support both FareShare and Home-Start through John Lewis.

The retailer says donations worth £3 would give a gift to a child and £10 would help pay for a permanent carer for a set amount of time.

  • Make a charity donation which will be matched by the retailer to the value of £2million. Donations can be made by text or online through the John Lewis and Waitrose websites. Text “LOVE” to 70630 to donate £3, text “FAMILY” to donate £5, text “MEALS” to donate £10, or text “VISIT” to donate £20.
  • Buy one of a variety of exclusive and limited edition campaign products. John Lewis and Waitrose will give 100% of the profits to the charities.
  • Shopping in one of the two retailers’ shops and using your My John Lewis and My Waitrose loyalty card which will trigger a 1p per transaction donation.

If you can’t afford to donate, John Lewis is also encouraging people to show kindness to someone who needs it.

In addition, you can see if anyone in your local community needs support.

Who does FareShare and Home-Start support?

FareShare is a food poverty charity which helps fight hunger and food waste across the UK.

Since the pandemic started, FareShare has had to double the amount of food it distributes to meet the rising demand.

Home-Start, meanwhile, provides support to parents from disadvantaged or vulnerable families.

Home-Start centres have also seen an increase in demand for its services since the start of the coronavirus crisis.


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