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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Katie Collier

M&S removes 'offensive' Christmas post amid Palestine flag criticism

MARKS and Spencer (M&S) has issued an apology after it pulled a post about its 2023 Christmas clothing and home advert.

The supermarket shared an outtake of the advert on Tuesday November 1, the day it was released, and has since taken to social media to apologise for the post.

On X (formerly known as Twitter), M&S said: “Today we shared an outtake image from our Christmas clothing and home advert, which was recorded in August.

“It showed traditional, festive-coloured red, green and silver Christmas paper party hats in a fire grate.

“While the intent was to playfully show that some people just don’t enjoy wearing paper Christmas hats over the festive season, we have removed the post following feedback and we apologise for any unintentional hurt caused.”

Screenshots of the M&S account’s deleted Instagram post are circulating on social media with users accusing the supermarket of distastefully linking the red, green and silver Christmas hats burning in a fire to the current conflict in the Middle East as the Palestinian flag has similar colours.

The post has seen some X users reply saying they won’t shop at the supermarket this Christmas, calling the advert “offensive”.

What is the M&S Christmas advert about?

M&S’ Christmas clothing and home campaign for 2023 is titled Love Thismas (Not Thatmas) and celebrates the "honest truths" about the time of year.

The campaign is inspired by the insight that many of us find it hard to strike a balance between the things we love about the holidays and the things we do because we feel obliged.

You can find out more about the M&S Christmas advert via our explainer HERE.

The supermarket’s advert features famous faces, including actress Hannah Waddingham, singer and podcast host Sophie Ellis-Bextor, presenter and style expert Tan France, and actress Zawe Ashton, who all have to make decisions about the Christmas traditions they're going to embrace this year.

Anna Braithwaite, M&S clothing and home marketing director, said: “Before we created Love Thismas (Not Thatmas), we spoke to hundreds of our customers and they all told us that, at Christmas, they feel this pressure of having to worry about and plan so many things.

“We know it can often feel like the list is never-ending so this year we decided to celebrate and empower our customers to just do the things they love.”

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