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Image / Editorial

Marks and Spencer accused of sexism over window display

by Edaein OConnell
21st Nov 2018

Marks and Spencer have come under fire for a window display in their Nottingham store in England.

One side of the window shows men’s suits with the slogan “must-have outfits to impress” and the other shows women’s lingerie with the accompanying slogan “must-have fancy little knickers”. The display has been described as ‘sexist’ by campaigners.

Picture: @FiLiA_charity


The window was then defaced, with the tagline changed to the words “must-have full human rights.”

A picture of the window was originally posted into a Facebook group called Feminist Friends Nottingham by a user called Fran Bailey with the caption: “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 outraged, saying: “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.”

She added: “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.”

In a statement, Marks and 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.”

Twitter users have also voiced their concerns over the window display: