This Paypal Ad Is Getting Hundreds of Complaints That It Spoils Christmas

Many think CP+B spot implies Santa isn't real

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Paypal has accidentally played the Grinch in Britain this holiday, according to several hundred viewers who have lodged complaints about its Christmas ad, claiming the commercial implies that Father Christmas—aka, Santa Claus—isn't real.

The spot, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, shows an older brother predicting that he and his sibling won't get any presents this year, because he hasn't seen his parents out shopping for any. This has infuriated some parents, who believe it implies they buy all the gifts—and Santa doesn't deliver any.

They are particularly peeved that the ad has been running when kids are still up—not after 9 p.m., which is when ads that aren't kid-friendly typically run.

PayPal has apologized, explaining that it thought kids commonly believed that parents buy some of their presents and that Father Christmas brings others.

"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," a spokeswoman said. "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."

PayPal is also working to have the spot air only after 9 p.m. The Guardian reports that the country's ad watchdog, Advertising Standards Authority, is still weighing the evidence to see if there is cause for an investigation into the ad.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.