Faye Evans, 48, published a story of a fire-breathing dragon herself in 2017, but says the dragon ad John Lewis used in their 2019 Christmas campaign bears “a striking resemblance.”
Photo: MEN MEDIA)
A children’s author has sued John Lewis after claiming that her 2019 Christmas campaign ad bore “a striking resemblance” to her book about a fire-breathing dragon.
Faye Evans, 48, self-published “Fred the Fiery Sneezing Dragon” in 2017, but said it’s “soulbreaking” to think someone else might have used her idea and feel as though the story is “part of it.”
John Lewis said she would defend herself “vigorously” against the allegations, saying the concept for her announcement was presented to them in early 2016 — a year and seven months before Evans published her book.
“Since this ad came out two years ago, it’s been just a truly surreal experience,” Evans told Lincolnshire Live.
“When the ad was released, I got a lot of messages from people saying the story reminded them of Fred and at first I thought it was a coincidence, until I saw the ad myself.”
Faye is now taking legal action against John Lewis and the creative team behind the 2019 announcement through the Supreme Court’s Specialized Intellectual Property Foundation Tribunal.
After filing legal papers on John Lewis, who has now pleaded guilty to the copyright infringement allegation against him, the supermarket chain now has until December 22nd to file a defense.
But a John Lewis spokesperson said: “Having provided us with time-stamped documentation showing our campaign concept for Christmas, Evans was first presented to us in early 2016 – one year and seven months before the publication of her book – we are surprised to receive such a claim.”
But Fay says these timestamp documents are “absolutely irrelevant” to her case, saying the issue is not “when the idea first came” but rather about the “creative process” of turning the idea into an advertisement.
Faye is currently working with The Lowry Theater in Salford to turn “Fred the Fire-Sneezing Dragon” into a musical, having published her second children’s picture book in 2018.
She added, “It’s kind of soul-destroying to think that someone has used your work because especially as a children’s author, I have to use my imagination to come up with my stories and they are part of me.
“This is about standing up for creators everywhere because the experience I’ve had has been traumatic and I don’t want anyone else to go through it.”
A John Lewis spokesperson added: “We vehemently deny that we copied or drew any inspiration from the book, and will vigorously defend that claim.”