ASA receives over 50 complaints about Tesco’s ‘All I want for Christmas is a puppy’ message within 24 hours
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has received more than 50 complaints over Tesco’s Christmas gifts catalogue, which contained an image of a child running in front of a blackboard scrawled with the message ‘All I want for Christmas is a puppy’.
The message, which went live just yesterday (14 October) has prompted complaints as it is directly at odds with the long-running campaign that 'a dog is not just for Christmas' after many were given as Christmas presents and then abandoned soon after.
The ASA said most of the complaints cited the irresponsibility of Tesco in conveying the message that puppies make suitable gifts at Christmas.
Despite the image not technically being an advert, the ASA has told The Drum this does fall into their remit and it will be making a decision in the next week as to wither a further investigation will be conducted.
The Drum spoke to The Dogs Trust following the Facebook message it posted which suggested the charity and Tesco would “work together” to rectify the mistake.
A spokeswoman said: “It’s a shame this is something that has hit again. Last year it was the Morrisons advert of the dog being fed Christmas pudding, which is actually toxic for dogs, the year before that it was John Lewis ad where the dog was put in a kennel in the snow outside.
“People do react and it’s a shame that it has happened again. You would think marketers or advertisers would realise the strength of feeling there is about animal welfare.”
She continued: “Our Facebook page was full of messages with people asking ‘what’s Tesco going to do?’. We put a message onto Tesco’s page and they got in touch with us to explain and did say they never meant to cause offence and we’re still working with now in terms of how we can rectify this so that people do understand the message."
Dogs Trust said that it was too early to determine exactly what this activity will comprise.
The Drum has contacted Tesco for a comment and is awaiting response.
Last year, the Morrisons advert received 234 complaints, which were not upheld by the ASA, but saw it become one of the 10 most complained about adverts of the year.