Marks & Spencer has come under fire for a festive window display that’s been considered 'offensive' on social media.
The controversy started when Fran Bailey shared a snap of the window display of the Nottingham branch on Facebook group Feminist Friends Nottingham, writing, ‘Ok, M&S Nottingham, have we really not learned anything in the last 35 years? Or am I alone in finding this, their major window display, completely vomit inducing?’
Ok, M&S Nottingham, have we really not learned anything in the last 35 years? Or am I alone in finding this, their major window display, completely vomit inducing?
Speaking to the BBC, Fran explained why she was so baffled by the window, “I think M&S using the slogan ‘must-have’ over Christmas fripperies is very distasteful when true necessities are lacking for many working and non-working people; the true necessities being warmth, shelter and food.
“I also feel very, very strongly about the representation of women as being preoccupied with fancy little knickers, whereas men are presented as powerful and needing to be impressive.
“I don’t have a problem with people choosing to wear whatever they want to wear, I just feel like the juxtaposition is what’s grossly, grossly offensive.
“We are surrounded by sexual images of both men and women. M&S are not by any means the only offenders but that particular window just epitomises everything that’s wrong with current marketing and how far backwards we’ve gone.”
Many people reciprocated her sentiment on social media, with one saying: ‘Wake up M & S. It’s 2018. Got it badly wrong this time!’
A second added: ‘Crass consumerism with sexist stereotyping thrown in….so tiresome.’
However, others weren’t as offended: ‘Although I appreciate your sentiment, the job of M &S is to sell clothes, while it is the job of the local authorities and government to solve poverty and housing stress.’
Another also commented: ‘I guess if you walk around looking to get offended it’s pretty easy nowadays. Not for a second would I think sexism or anything about the window.’
In response to the criticism, Marks & Spencer said, “M&S sells more underwear, in more shapes, sizes and styles, than any other retailer, especially at Christmas.
“We’ve highlighted one combination in our windows, which are part of a wider campaign that features a large variety of Must-Have Christmas moments, from David Gandy washing up in an M&S suit through to families snuggling up in our matching PJs.”