John Lewis has withdrawn a prize offered as part of the Conservative Party’s Black and White Ball on Monday (6 February) to convey its "political impartiality".
The party auctioned off a number of experiences to guests at the fundraiser, including a grouse shooting weekend and a private cabaret performance.
A first look behind the scenes of the 2017 John Lewis Christmas advert was also on the auction agenda and successfully sold to an attendee. However the retailer’s chairman, Sir Charlie Mayfield, has today (8 February) revoked the prize over fears it contradicts the brand’s policy on remaining politically neutral.
The John Lewis Partnership said in a statement: “Following recent news that a behind-the scenes experience of the John Lewis Christmas advert was offered as a prize at a Conservative Party fundraising event, we would like to make it clear that the partnership has a clear policy of political impartiality and that the chairman had no knowledge of the decision to offer this prize, which will be withdrawn.”
The winner will be refunded, if indeed any money has been transferred.
John Lewis is notoriously protective over the content of its Christmas adverts; last year it tactically leaked creative clues of Buster the Boxer on social to increase hype before the big reveal in November.