Author Launches Legal Bid Over John Lewis Christmas Advert

A special announcement regarding the John Lewis Christmas Advert…

I’m happy to announce that I’m taking legal action in the High Court against John Lewis and the creative team behind its critically acclaimed 2019 Christmas advert, ‘Excitable Edgar’.

I believe the retailer’s TV commercial bears a striking similarity to my debut picture book, ‘Fred The Fire-Sneezing Dragon’, which I self published in September 2017.

Within ten minutes of the 2019 John Lewis Christmas advert being released online I was inundated with messages regarding the resemblance to my book. I’ve since heard from many readers who genuinely thought that I had worked with the makers of the advert and that they were watching Fred’s story on the television.

I am totally confident in the validity of my claim and have received an overwhelming amount of public support. I want to take a stand for all creative artists – including writers, illustrators and musicians – whether they are relatively unknown or at the top of their game, the same principle applies. The original creative work we strive with all our heart to develop and publish is fundamentally protected by the law of copyright.

Nearly two years since the advert was released on 14 November 2019, I have now issued proceedings to the specialist Intellectual Property division of the High Court of Justice. The copyright infringement claim has been served on joint defendants John Lewis Plc and its advertising agency DDB UK Limited (trading as adam&eve) following pre-action legal correspondence between their solicitors.

I’m being represented by law firm Brandsmiths, Intellectual Property Litigation specialists for brands and entrepreneurs. The defendants now have 14 days to either acknowledge the claim or serve a Defence.

Since publishing my debut picture book in 2017, I’ve undertaken free author visits to around 100 UK primary schools, sharing my stories with tens of thousands of children. Together with my second illustrated rhyming story ‘Bob’s Beard’, I’ve sold in excess of 3,000 books, including sales via Amazon. I’m currently working with a composer, creative team and theatre industry Partners to create ‘Fred: The Musical’ an interactive theatre show for young children based on my book, ‘Fred The Fire-Sneezing Dragon’.

I’m proud of my creative achievements and hope that the silver lining in this legal battle will be that more children will be able to discover and enjoy my work.