PayPal is running a holiday television ad campaign in the UK with the theme, “Check out before they know it.” The TV ads emphasize the ease of shopping on smartphones and tablets using PayPal to pay for their holiday gifts.
One ad in the campaign caught the attention of a UK newspaper, which said customers were “slamming” the PayPal ads for inferring that Santa Claus was not real.
The Daily Mail wrote, “The firm has been blasted for their festive TV and internet offing, which features two young brothers anxious their Christmas has been cancelled. They reach that conclusion as they have not seen their parents return home with sack loads of shopping in the weeks leading up to December 25.”
PayPal responded to the criticism on its blog. “Some people have been upset by the ad as they think that by focusing on the presents bought by mum and dad it suggests that Santa doesn’t exist. That was never our intention. Before we made the ad, we asked people from different parts of Britain about the idea behind it. The feedback was that presents around the tree were typically seen as being from family and friends, while those in the stocking at the end of the bed came from Santa. And quite a few of us involved with the ad campaign have small children, so we’d never do anything that might challenge the existence of Father Christmas.”
In response to the concerns, however, it’s making a change: “we’ve made arrangements for this ad only to air after 9pm, the “watershed” after which it is assumed that young children won’t be watching. (The ad may appear before 9pm a few more times in the coming days while the TV channels follow the new arrangements.)”
The ad can be seen on Youtube.
A PayPal spokesperson told EcommerceBytes the ads were for the UK only – “we have no plans to air these in the US,” he said.