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Twitter recruits man named John Lewis for #NotARetailStore advert

Twitter has launched a Christmas advert featuring a man named John Lewis who is often mistaken for the retailer.

Lewis receives over 50,000 tweets per year from customers hoping to reach John Lewis and Partners customer service team which uses the Twitter handle @jlandpcustserv as opposed to Lewis who uses the handle @johnlewis. Lewis’s own account states in its bio that he is “not a retail store” and says that the store has never offered to buy his handle.

The advert will aim to drive more users to the social media site, with Lewis himself saying he didn’t use the account for the first two years of having it, and only began to use it once the cases of mistaken identity began. Twitter has branded the campaign #NotARetailStore in reference to a common refrain made in Lewis’s tweets.

Lewis, a computer science lecturer at Virginia Tech university, said: “I think it’s hilarious that people mistake me for the UK store and I do my best to direct them to the right place, I see a massive spike in tweets at this time of year and I always watch the John Lewis advert, especially as it becomes a big part of my conversation.”

Twitter’s advert pays homage to John Lewis and Partners’ recent Christmas adverts with a telescope, a miniature moon ornament, Monty the penguin and Buster the boxer, all hidden in the background. Lewis even received a tweet from the star of the retailer’s current Christmas advert, Elton John, who said: ”Thanks for being a fan, John. we love your work too.”

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