Bah, humbug! Some parents are upset with online banking system PayPal after they ran an advertisement implying Father Christmas doesn’t exist. Of all the complaints one could make about the service—random fees, freezing accounts, zero communication with customers—this one is most grave, indeed.
The offending ad ran on Sunday night in the UK, during the primetime X-Factor slot. It begins with two children worrying that they won’t be getting any Christmas presents this year, as their parents don’t seem to be bringing home any shopping bags. On Christmas morning, the children find dozens of gifts under the tree—but they weren’t delivered by Santa or Father Christmas, they were purchased online using PayPal.
It seems innocuous enough, but the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency says it has received 233 complaints about the ad so far.
“The general nature of the complaints are that the ad is offensive because it implies that Father Christmas doesn’t exist and that it’s inappropriate to be shown at a time when it could be seen by children,” an ASA spokesman told CNN.
Paypal was quick to respond to the controversy, and even agreed to push the ad’s airtime back later into the evening.
“We take feedback from our customers seriously, and don’t want to be seen as Scrooge.” Paypal said in a statement. “So we’ve made arrangements for this ad only to air after 9 pm… after which it is assumed that young children won’t be watching.”
You may also enjoy these related stories from our archives:
Why Jerry Seinfeld Says Your Christmas Presents Are Garbage [Video]
Move Over Kayne: Comedians Turn ‘Yeezus’ Into The Ultimate Christmas Album [Listen]
5 Interesting Christmas Eve Traditions From Around the World