M&S Christmas advert showed party hats in Palestine flag colours

M&S forced to take down Christmas advert as it showed burning hats in Palestine flag colours

‘We apologise for any unintentional hurt cause’

M&S has removed imagery from its 2023 Christmas advert after people pointed out burning hats in a fire were the same colour as the Palestine flag. The retailer has apologised for the oversight, which it said intended to be “playful”.

The message of the brand’s Christmas clothing and home advert, which stars Hannah Waddingham, was intended to be telling people they can get rid of Christmas traditions they don’t like. On Instagram, the store posted a picture from the advert showing Christmas hats on a fire – the hats were red, green and silver. The caption read: “This Christmas, do what you love… like saying no to paper hats #LoveThismasNotThatmas.”

Straight after the post went up, people pointing out the colours of the burning hats were the same as the Palestine flag. Following the backlash, M&S removed the post and replaced it with an apology across all its social media profiles.

“Today we shared an outtake image from our Christmas Clothing and Home advert, which was recorded in August,” the post reads “It showed traditional, festive coloured red, green and silver Christmas paper 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.”

The apology hasn’t been met well, with comments calling it “too little too late” and saying they will “never buy from you again.”

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Featured image background (before edits) via Georgie Gillard/ANL/Shutterstock.