John Lewis has found itself making headlines for the wrong reasons courtesy of its cuddly under the bed-dwelling monster Moz, after a children’s author accused the department store of copying his own children’s picture book.
Four years after claims that John Lewis pilfered its 2013 Christmas campaign from the pages of a children's book Chris Riddell, author of Mr Underbed, has spotted a number of similarities between his own blue-haired creation and John Lewis’s bouffant mascot.
Alleging outright plagiarism, albeit in a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ manner, Riddell posted a Facebook video, flicking through his own story in time with the advert alongside the statement: “John Lewis helps themselves to my picture book.”
Coincidentally, Riddell was determined not to sweep the affair under his own rug, stating: “The idea of a monster under the bed is by no means new but the ad does seem to bear a close resemblance to my creation – a big blue unthreatening monster who rocks the bed and snores loudly. Needless to say, I think Mr Underbed is a lot more appealing than Moz, but of course, I’m biased. I’ll be fascinated to hear John Lewis’ thoughts on the matter.”
Creative agency Adam&Eve/DDB were responsible for devising John Lewis’s £7m Christmas advertising push which perhaps goes to show there really is nothing new under the sun.
A John Lewis spokesperson said: “The story of a big hairy monster under the bed which keeps a child from sleeping is a universal tale which has been told many times over many years.
"Ours is a Christmas story of friendship and fun between Joe and Moz The Monster, in which Joe receives a night light which helps him get a good night's sleep. The main thrust of our story is utterly different to Chris Riddell's."
Moz has taken the UK Shazam charts by storm since stepping out into the daylight, taking top spot courtesy of the Christmas ad.