John Lewis accused of ripping off idea for £7m Christmas ad

Author claims Moz the Monster is too familiar for comfort

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The John Lewis Christmas advert has divided fans this year – some are loving its cute depiction of a monster befriending a child.

But some aren’t sure what it’s about, and whether the monster is a good influence or a bad one.

One person who’s presumably not a huge fan of the campaign – said to have cost the retailer a whopping £7m – is author Chris Riddell.

The writer took to Twitter yesterday to point out some unusual similarities between the new Christmas advert and a book he published in 1986, called Mr. Underbed.

Author Chris Riddell’s tweet (Credit: Twitter/Chris Riddell)

His Tweet read: “John Lewis helps themselves to my picture book.” He’d also created a short video which flicked between images from his book and the new advert.

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Chris told the Guardian: “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.”

Both Chris’s book and the John Lewis advert feature a boy unable to sleep (Credit: YouTube)

The John Lewis campaign was released to a huge fanfare last week, and is estimated to have cost a whopping £7m.

This would have been spent on a fee for John Lewis’ ad agency Adam&Eve, the rights to use the Beatles’ 1969 song Golden Slumbers, and charges for rock band Elbow to cover the song.

Chris’s 1986 book also featured a big-nosed monster squeezing under a bed (Credit: Twitter/Chris Riddell)

It would also include the cost of buying up all the advertising space needed to promote the two-minute clip, which was directed by famous Frenchman Michel Gondry.

Last year’s advert featured a boxer dog named Buster, who was counting down the days until Christmas so he could have a bounce on the family’s new trampoline.

Was Moz the Monster inspired by Mr Underbed? (Credit: Twitter/Chris Riddell)

A spokesman from John Lewis 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.

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“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.”

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