PayPal's efforts to cash in on the season of goodwill have backfired after the firm's new UK Christmas TV advert drew hundreds of complaints from parents for implying that Santa does not exist.
The ad, which aired for the first time during an episode of the X Factor on Sunday evening, features two brothers trying to catch their parents bringing home Christmas presents.
With no shopping bags in sight, the boys assume that they will not be getting gifts this year but, in fact, the parents have done their shopping online using PayPal.
More than 230 complaints have been made to the Advertising Standards Authority by viewers angry that the commercial suggested that parents, rather than Santa, are responsible for presents.
The watchdog told the Guardian that it has not yet decided whether to launch an investigation but PayPal has apologised and promised to now only air the ad after the 9.00pm watershed, when young children are (supposedly) in bed.
"Our ad aims to take a fun look at those Christmas presents kids know come from their parents, and not in any way say Father Christmas doesn’t also deliver presents to them," a spokeswoman told the Guardian.