An Open Letter To Very For Stealing My Face

Dear Very,

I hate to contact you in this way. I often complain about things – namely the Toddler – but it takes a lot for me to actually make an official complaint on such a grand and public scale. I’m very sorry I’ve had to do this, but I hope you can understand why.

It’s come to my attention that you’ve committed theft. Theft against me. Sure, you’ve not been to my house in the dead of the night and stolen my car, TV and £3.64 of loose change. That, I could potentially forgive – annoying yes, but my insurance would make sure I’m not out of pocket.

Instead, what you’ve done is take something a lot more personal than that. Something that can’t be replaced with a few phone calls and strategically placed signatures on a document. You’ve taken my appearance. My bloody appearance. Who does that?! This isn’t Face/Off. I’m not Nicholas Cage.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about – which I’m sure you do – I’m referring to your Christmas advert. You know, the one with the attractive redhead spreading Christmas cheer by magically giving everyone a present. Yep, that one.

To clarify, I don’t suggest that the main character is me – for starters, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have a penis. Although, if she did, I have no issues with that. Christmas is for everyone, no matter how you define your gender or sexuality. Anyway, that’s an aside.

Instead, I’m referring to the bit where she wakes up in bed (1:11 if you need a reminder). As the advert plays, we are introduced to another character who is in bed with her. A male character. A character with large, pretty blue eyes. Someone with scruffy dark blonde / light brown hair and a beard. A character with slightly large ears and a physique which is nothing to write home about. He is me and I am him.

That’s right. You’ve only gone and put me in your Christmas advert without my knowledge. You didn’t get in touch to discuss. No permission was sought. You didn’t think I’d find out. Well, I have. This, my friends, is plagiarism. Copyright infringement. Theft.

You may wish to hide behind the fact it is just a similiarity. “Oh, don’t be daft, it’s just a coincidence”. However, this holds less weight when I reveal that I’ve made an appearance in your magazine before. You had my face and you weren’t afraid to use it.

Look, I get it. Becoming top dog in the Christmas advert charts is huge for business. Out of nowhere, the Christmas advert is now a national event – one that more companies want in on. However, creating an emotive, heart-warming, poignant yet funny advert is not easy. I know I couldn’t do it.

After seeing the power – and income – that a bear, hare, penguin, old man and bouncing dog can bring, I don’t begrudge you in the slightest for throwing your metaphorical hat into the ring. In fact, I commend you for it. BUT, my issue is the use of my face. That isn’t on. You’ve gone too far in the hope of grabbing the attention of the nation.

I’m not the only one to think it. In fact, I had three separate people tell me that I looked like the person in your advert. Since then, more and more people have confirmed it after I took to social media about the injustice. Coincidence? I think not.

I’m very unhappy. I think we’ve established that much. However, I am also a reasonable man – much like I appear in the advert with my trademark smirk, eyebrow raise and shrug of the shoulders. I don’t want you to take the advert down. I don’t even want any financial compensation. I’d just like an apology and confirmation that you’ve done what you’ve done. A simple request considering the circumstances.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope that we can get this issue resolved.

All the best,