Ian Burrell: Can the BBC learn from John Lewis?


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The Independent Online

The love-in between the media and John Lewis is becoming increasingly ridiculous. It began with Adam & Eve's remarkable Christmas advertising campaigns for the retail brand, seen most recently with the popular “Bear & Hare” animation, which delivered exceptional seasonal sales. The campaigns have become a fixture of the media calendar.

Now, the BBC is championing John Lewis for a different reason – suggesting that its "partnership" structure could be a future model for the broadcaster's relationship with its consumers.

On Thursday, at the Newsworks Shift 2014 annual conference for the national press industry, John Lewis will again be held up as a beacon of good practice as Adam & Eve's James Murphy addresses editors and publishers.

It should be a good event. Sir Martin Sorrell, whose ad market predictions always seem to favour visual media over text platforms, is promising to show his "other side" in conversation with The Independent's editor, Amol Rajan. The Guardian's editor, Alan Rusbridger, will speak on the state of investigative journalism while the Daily Telegraph's chief, Jason Sieken, will make his maiden public address.

Read: John Lewis Christmas advert 2013 debuts online