Red-faced executives at John Lewis are back-peddling as quickly as they can today after this year’s much-anticipated Christmas advert has quickly become a PR disaster.

The mini-movie featuring a dragon called Excitable Edgar, follows him as he wreaks havoc on a violent killing and maiming spree. Horrified parents have slammed the dangerously out-of-control reptilian, who in an unprovoked and sick attack, first melts Olaf the Snowman into a small puddle while the clearly devastated children who have built him look on in complete shock.

Next Edgar storms a frozen village pond where more children are innocently ice skating. As soon as he hits the ice he unleashes a series of deadly fire bolts in all directions narrowly avoiding incinerating several young skaters, before then maliciously melting the ice and plunging them into the freezing water below.

The final straw comes when, the by now clearly deranged dragon seemingly hellbent on ruining everyone’s Christmas, delights in torching the village’s tree and festive decorations to cinders as revelers can only watch in horror.

The ad is said to have mentally scarred children up and down the land with many having been referred to psychologists for emergency counselling. One young mum, Shaneece Pritchard from Hayling island said: ‘It’s an absolute disgrace and it’s terrified my little ones. They haven’t slept a wink since the advert was first broadcast.’

Meanwhile a spokesman for John Lewis attempted to explain: ‘We came in for so much stick last year, but I mean, come on, bad and all as this year’s campaign is, surely nobody is suggesting it’s anywhere near as sickening as last year’s Elton John one was.’