Tesco has been slammed by customers and animal charities over an image which appeared in its Christmas gift catalogue. The promotional print shows a child running in front of a blackboard which carries the message ‘All I want for Christmas is a puppy.’ Since the catalogue’s roll out, hundreds of customers and charities as well as associations like The Kennel Club have complained via Twitter and Facebook, with many demanding the catalogues be recalled. The Dogs Trust, which coined the phrase ‘A Dog is for life not just for Christmas’, was among the first to speak out against the message. “Dogs Trust is incredibly disappointed to see the latest Tesco Magazine which shows a background image of a blackboard with the words 'All I want for Christmas is a puppy'."A spokesman continued: “The charity's iconic slogan is 35 years old this Christmas but is sadly still as relevant today. We know many children would put a pup on their Xmas list so we spend a considerable amount of time, money and effort reminding parents about the commitment and responsibility owning a dog entails.”The RSPCA echoed The Dogs Trust’s sentiments, saying buying a dog is a lifelong commitment and is not a “short-term novelty.” Tesco has responded to Facebook complaints, telling one user: “You're correct puppies are not just for Christmas.“We are very sorry that this has caused offence and we completely understand your concerns. Please let me reassure you that we are not encouraging people to buy dogs for Christmas. “The picture in the magazine, shows words on a chalkboard reflecting what a small child might write, however we completely understand your position and will be feeding all of this back to our marketing team for future publishing.“It's a little too late to withdraw the guide sorry, the magazine has been distributed to our stores and many of our customers are using it to browse through our products.”This latest controversy comes just weeks after the supermarket giant started selling ‘Mental Patient’ Halloween costumes.
Me again @Tesco - whose stupid idea was it to put "all I want for Christmas is a puppy" imagery in your gift catalogue. Pulp the catalogues.— Cllr Karen Chilvers (@LDKatz71) October 15, 2013
So this whole Tesco/puppy thing is totally ridiculous... It's not an advert, how would the ASA even intervene?— Joseph Freeman (@JosephFreeman) October 14, 2013
How irresponsible are you??? @Tesco All i want is a puppy for christmas??? A dog is for LIFE!!!! REMOVE the advert NOW!!!— Pamela Hayhurst (@Rosie2501) October 14, 2013