John Lewis denies claim that it copied Christmas advert music idea from folk band

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John Lewis have denied claims that they copied an arrangement for the song Together in Electric Dreams for use in their 2021 Christmas advert.

The Portraits, a British alt-folk band, claim that the new ad replicates their version of the Human League’s smash 1984 hit, which they released last year for charity.

John Lewis has dismissed the allegations and said there is “no substance to the claims”.

The Portraits claim they contacted the company in March 2021 to ask if their arrangement would work for their Christmas advert - but received no response.

In a post on Facebook, the band said: “Our version was a fundraising song aimed at supporting bereavement and mental health organisations that have needed the money more than ever during the pandemic.

“We had a (perhaps naive) dream that we could use a future ad by the company with our soundtrack linked to it to maximise the funds going to those charities.

“Instead, John Lewis went with the idea and produced a version borrowing the ‘feeling’ and many elements of the arrangement of our version, without even letting us know they were planning to do so.”

In a statement, the company said it had received no communication from the couple.

They added: “There’s no substance to the claims as the person contacted by email left at the start of the summer and had no involvement in this year’s Christmas ad.

“The music that accompanies the ad is always the final element to be added and this year was chosen at the end of October.”

“The creation of advertising and music is carried out solely by our agency and we are unable to read or consider ideas from other external or internal sources.”

Rising star Lola Young was chosen to provide the soundtrack to this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert.

The 20-year-old singer-songwriter, from south London, joins previous music superstars including Ellie Goulding, Lily Allen and Tom Odell in contributing to the retailer’s annual festive campaign.

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