Anger Over John Lewis Christmas Advert’s ‘Damaging Climate Message’

by : Cameron Frew on :
Anger Over John Lewis Christmas Advert's 'Damaging Climate Message'John Lewis/YouTube

The John Lewis Christmas advert is finally here, but a few people have been left rankled by its ‘damaging climate message’. 

The retailer’s festive ads have basically become an annual institution in the UK. Yes, they’ve been released since 2007 – but ever since 2011’s ‘The Long Wait’, which featured a boy waiting for the big day because he’s so excited to give his mum and dad their presents, the general public eagerly await its next effort.


There’s been some whoppers over the years, like ‘The Journey’, ‘The Bear and the Hare’, ‘Monty the Penguin’, and ‘Man on the Moon’. This year, we’re saying hello to ‘An Unexpected Guest’.


Scored to a most John Lewis-y cover of Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder’s stone cold classic Together in Electric Dreams, performed by British singer Lola Young, the advert follows Nathan, a young boy travelling home from school who catches sight of a space ship crash-landing in the woods. #

He discovers a far-away traveller named Skye and introduces her to his family’s Christmas traditions, as well as causing havoc with people’s lights and watching a rom-com together.


‘What happens when an unexpected guest lands in your forest? You show them how Christmas is done, of course!’ the company wrote.

It’s a typically lovely advert, but it’s rubbed some people the wrong way, particularly given the COP26 climate conference is ongoing in Glasgow. ‘That spaceship didn’t look climate friendly and it destroyed a few trees,’ one user joked.


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‘Oooh, does it mean we don’t need to worry about #Cop26 or climate and biodiversity breakdown due to runaway consumerism because we’re going to wiped out by a meteorite? Or aliens? Is it aliens??’ another wrote. ‘Is this going to be another shameless promotion of buying and consuming more ‘stuff’ in the middle of a climate crisis that requires us to do just the opposite?’ a third tweeted.


‘Great soundtrack. Terrible otherwise. Huge carbon footprint making it and it is completely pointless. Less of this crap please John Lewis,’ another wrote.

However, for the most part, people love the advert – and you know what, so do I.

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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: Film and TV, Christmas, Climate Change, John Lewis, Now