BBC Breakfast Naga Munchetty grills John Lewis boss in tense Christmas ad debate

BBC Breakfast host Naga Munchetty grilled John Lewis boss Pippa Wicks about the new Christmas advert after the store announced more job cuts in lockdown.

Earlier this month, the department store announced they would make a further 1,500 job cuts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

During Friday morning's programme, Naga and her co-host Charlie Stayt interviewed Executive Director of John Lewis, Wicks, about the new commercial.

However, the discussion took a turn as Munchetty grilled Wicks about the job cuts and the budget of the festive advert.

The news presenter said: "Pippa Wicks, it's really interesting, isn't it.

"Obviously, you're facing the public and you're trying to encourage business but at the same time, just looking at the John Lewis Partnership, you've been hit as many businesses have been as well.

"Staff aren't going to receive a bonus for the first time since 1953, there's been a loss in profits and you're cutting eight stores and job losses of about 5,000 in total."

The journalist continued: "So how do you relate this kind of spending on advertising when there will be many of your staff will be feeling insecurity and knowing these are straightened times as well?"

Pippa replied: "These are straightened times for everybody who've worked amazingly hard all year to make sure our customers have got what they need.

"It is regrettable whenever you are trying to turn around fortunes with business. There are costs to be cut, and it is very regrettable indeed, but we are trying to look after them in a humane way and really support them through the changes we've got to make in the business."

She added: "And we've got to make these changes in order to make the business strong for the future, if we don't then we'll continue to have a downward stretch in profits and that’s not what anyone wants."

The interview certainly got viewers talking, as many took to social media after the John Lewis ad discussion.

Some blasted the BBC Breakfast interview, as one tweeted: "John Lewis executive speaking on BBC Breakfast trying to convey a positive message. Naga making sure she steers the conversation back to job losses & falling profits. That's the spirit girl. Keep up the good cheer."

While another wrote: "BBC Breakfast asking the Exec Director of John Lewis why they're spending money on brand, advertising and the John Lewis Christmas advert while cutting jobs. FFS"

"So hypocritical Munchetty attacking John Lewis 'guest' about staff shortages", tweeted a third.

Other viewers on the other hand praised Naga for her questioning, as one fan penned: "Good questions posed by Naga to the Executive Director of John Lewis . Equally good answers!"

Another added: "Give a little love campaign then cut 3000 jobs? Nice going there John Lewis."

BBC Breakfast airs daily from 6am on BBC One.

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