Why has the 2023 M&S Advert been removed?

Why has the 2023 M&S Advert been removed?

Retailer issues an apology after it attracted 23 complaints to the ad watchdog as well as pushback from disappointed organisations

Written 4th November 2023 | Subscribe to our Christmas newsletter

The retailer issues an apology in response to criticism regarding a segment from its star-studded Christmas advertisement, where burning Christmas paper hats were said to resemble the Palestinian flag.

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The British retailer had shared an image from its Christmas clothing and home advert on Instagram. The image showed red, silver and green paper hats tossed into a burning fireplace. The unfortunate positioning of the hats seemed to symbolize the Palestinian flag.

It Instagram post was accompanied with the caption: "This Christmas, do what you love... like saying no to paper hats" with the hashtag #LoveThismasNotThatmas - this is M&S 2023 Christmas slogan.

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The advertisement encouraged individuals to prioritize enjoyment over conforming to festive traditions they might not genuinely appreciate, aligning with the central theme of its Christmas commercial. The post received a huge backlash, some social media users suggested the hats' colours reflected those of the Palestinian flag amid the escalating Israel-Hamas war in the Middle East. The conflict escalated on October 7th following a lethal attack by Hamas on Israel, prompting an ongoing military response from Israel. M&S have reverted back to their 2022 advert and released the following statement : 'We apologise for any unintentional hurt caused'

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Image credit: Official statement from M&S

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