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John Lewis accused of plagiarizing its Christmas 2017 ad

By Vivian Hendriksz


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London - Consumers across the nation may look forward to John Lewis's Christmas ad each year, and this season 'Moz the Monster', which aired last Friday was no exception. However, John Lewis has now been accused of plagiarism following the debut of the ad, which features a large, fluffy, under-the-bed monster befriending a boy.

Children's author and illustrator Chris Riddell took to social media to highlight the similarities between John Lewis celebrated Christmas advert and his book Mr Underbed. The former children's laureate notes the resemblance between the two monsters, which are both large, furry and bed with large noses. He also points out the opening sequence of the advert, in which a young boy laying in bed is awoken by a snoring monster shaking his mattress before emerging, is very similar to that of his book.

"The idea of a monster under the bed is by no means new but the ad does seem to bear a close resemblance to my creation – a big blue unthreatening monster who rocks the bed and snores loudly," said Riddell, who is also a political illustrator for the Observer to the Guardian. "Needless to say, I think Mr Underbed is a lot more appealing than Moz, but of course, I’m biased. I’ll be fascinated to hear John Lewis’ thoughts on the matter."

The Christmas campaign was created by advertising agency Adam&Eve, who have worked together with the department store over the years, creating previous holiday ads such as 'Buster the Boxer', 'Man on the Moon' and 'Monty the Penguin'. The two-minute-long advert was made by Oscar-winning screenwriter Michel Gondry, who directed Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind. It features a cover of the Beatles song Golden Slumbers by Elbow and cost approximately 7 million pounds. John Lewis has responded to the accusations, noting that the story of a monster under the bed is not a new concept. "The story of a big hairy monster under the bed which keeps a child from sleeping is a universal tale which has been told many times over many years," said a John Lewis spokeswoman. "Ours is a Christmas story of friendship and fun between Joe and Moz The Monster, in which Joe receives a night light which helps him get a good night’s sleep. The main thrust of our story is utterly different to Chris Riddell’s."

Images: courtesy of John Lewis

Christmas Campaign
John Lewis