Marks & Spencer has issued an apology following the removal of an outtake from its Christmas campaign that sparked outrage.
The deleted Instagram post displayed paper Christmas hats ablaze in a fire grate, accompanied by the caption, ‘This Christmas, do only what you love…like saying no to paper hats.’ However, the post faced severe criticism from followers who observed the burning hats mirroring the colours of the Palestinian flag.
Social media users swiftly branded the post as “insensitive” and “disgusting,” particularly in light of the ongoing crisis in Gaza. The controversial post was part of M&S’ ‘This-mas not That-mas’ campaign, unveiled on Wednesday, featuring Tan France and Hannah Waddingham rejecting festive traditions they dislike in the accompanying advert.
In the advert, presenter Hannah is depicted tossing silver card crowns into a wood chipper, creating sparkling confetti. Tan, from Queer Eye, is seen decorating a tree. The contentious Instagram post was shared on Wednesday morning but was subsequently deleted due to the intense backlash.
In a statement released on Wednesday night, a spokesperson for the retailer explained, “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.”