M&S apologises for ‘unintentional hurt’ after Christmas ad causes outrage

Marks & Spencer has apologised after an outtake from its Christmas advert sparked outrage on social media.

The video clip, which was posted to the high-street retailer's Instagram page, saw paper Christmas hearts burning in a fireplace, alongside the caption: "This Christmas, do only what you love…like saying no to paper hats."

However, followers were quick to point out that the burning hats were the colours of the Palestinian flag, with many social media users labelling the video "disgusting."

Replying to the original post, one commenter wrote: "This is absolutely vile you should be ashamed of yourselves." Another agreed writing: "Absolutely disgusting. Even if it was recorded in August you should have reshot this image or used technology to make changes. Shame on you!!!"

The post was part of M&S's 'This-mas not That-mas' campaign, which was launched on Wednesday with an advert featuring Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Hannah Waddingham and Tan France rejecting festive traditions they don't like.

In the ad, Hannah is seen throwing silver card crowns into a wood chipper to create sparkling confetti, while Queer Eye star Tan is seen decorating a tree, and singer Sophie set fire to a collection of Christmas cards.

The contentious Instagram post was shared on Wednesday morning but was quickly removed after it received heavy criticism.

In a statement released on Wednesday night, a spokesperson for the retailers said: "Today we shared an outtake image from our Christmas Clothing and Home advert, which was recorded in August. It showed festive coloured red, green and silver 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."

M&S's Christmas campaign has kicked off to an early start this year, with their festive collection being launched back in September, which included a festive Colin the Caterpillar and a pre-lit Christmas tree.

And just hours after Halloween came to the end, the retailer launched its anticipated Christmas advert, alongside a number of other supermarkets.

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