John Lewis forced to deny it plagiarised £7m bear and hare advert

John Lewis has denied that it plagiarised its new Christmas advert from a children’s book, which has a similar plot and characters.

Karma Wilson's book cover

The retailer's highly anticipated Christmas ad tells the story of a bear who misses Christmas because he is always in hibernation. However, a hare decides to give him an alarm clock as a present which wakes him on Christmas Day. The spot ends on him celebrating with other animals.

However, Bear Stays Up for Christmas, a children's book by Karma Wilson, follows roughly the same plot. In it, a bear is sleeping when his animal friends, including a hare, wake him up so that he doesn’t miss Christmas.

As Twitter users commented on the similarities, a John Lewis spokesperson was forced to deny any link.

"They're not related. Stories about animals at Christmas are nothing new. A key difference was that in the advert, the bear's present was to wake him up, not help him sleep.”

Craig Inglis, the store's marketing director, also told the Huffington Post, which first reported the story, that: “We wanted our advert to reflect the importance of finding the right gift for friends and loved ones, a theme which we have built on for a number of years."

The animated ad, costing £7m, was created by adam&eve DDB. It will be premiered during tonight’s X Factor.

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