CP+B’s ‘No Presents’ Spot for PayPal Has Left Some Parents Upset

By Erik Oster 

CP+B recently launched a 60-second spot for PayPal U.K. which has rubbed some parents the wrong way.

The ad in question, “No Presents” shows a young boy convinced he and his brother won’t receive any Christmas presents because he hasn’t seen his parents shopping. To console him, his brother says he can pick anything from his side of the room as his present. The catch, of course, is that the parents have been shopping online using PayPal. Some parents are upset by the ad, which they say implies that Santa Claus (or Father Christmas in the U.K.) doesn’t exist, which is troublesome to them since the ad has been running while kids are still awake. PayPal has since issued an apology, explaining that it never meant to deny the existence of Father Christmas in the ad, and was operating under the assumption that parents told their kids that they purchased some of the presents while Father Christmas brought others. This is seemingly at odds with the children in the ad assuming they won’t receive any gifts whatsoever.

“We just want to take a moment to say we’re sorry that some people have been upset by our new U.K. Christmas TV advert,” said a PayPal spokesperson in an official apology. “Our ad aims to take a fun look at those Christmas presents kids know come from their parents, and not in any way say Father Christmas doesn’t also deliver presents to them.”

In response, PayPal is also altering its advertising schedule so that “No Presents” runs after nine, when most children are asleep. “We’re making arrangements that as soon as TV channels will allow, our commercial will run only after 9pm, the watershed, after which it is assumed that younger children will not be watching TV,” added the PayPal spokesperson. “We want every child to experience the magic of Christmas.”

The Advertising Standard Authority is currently assessing whether there is reason to investigate the ad.