A John Lewis Christmas advert featuring a penguin called Monty who is searching for ‘real love’, has been criticised for not promoting LGBT people.
Writing for the Independent, marketing and PR professional Stu Hosker, said that the advert under represents same-sex couples.
Hosker, himself gay, criticised the advert’s portrayal of several “conventional” couples and suggested that the penguin should be portrayed as homosexual.
In the wake of same-sex marriage legislation, Hosker argued that John Lewis should avoid portraying so many heterosexual couples.
He said: “In this monumental year in the history of our equality I was surprised to see John Lewis, a company that attracts a diverse demographic, appearing to portray ‘real love’ as between heterosexuals only.”
“All three relationships presented in the advert are of the ‘traditional’ or ‘conventional’ form. They don’t represent the love that is also shared between gay, lesbian or bisexual people”, he continued.
Hosker goes on to criticise the fact that the two penguins featured in the advert, Monty and Mabel, are also a “conventional” pair.
He added: “I would have quite liked it if the two penguins were gay; after all, in the animal kingdom it is not uncommon to have two male penguins forming long lasting homosexual relationships.”
Hosker also argued that “LGBT individuals are part of a powerful and lucrative consumer group”.
He concluded by challenging John Lewis to produce a Christmas advert next year which involves an expression of love “in all forms: gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight”.
Hosker’s portrayal of gay and lesbian people as a large and lucrative consumer group is contradicted by a recent survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
After interviewing tens of thousands of people, the ONS found that only 1.6 per cent of people in the United Kingdom identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.