The display in Nottingham town centre was defaced by campaigners who changed the womens underwear slogan to must have full human rights.
So @marksandspencer think fancy little knickers are a must have. #Women think fancy little full human rights ✊ are more pressing. 😂 They tried it. #Nottingham was like nah bro. pic.twitter.com/hVavwxOFME
Marks & Spencer accused of sexism over fancy knickers display
The original Christmas display showed images of the model David Gandy wearing M&S suits with the tagline must-have outfits to impress adjacent to red and black lingerie behind the tagline must-have fancy little knickers.
After it was criticised as grotesque and vomit-inducing, the display was covered up. M&S claimed the display had been taken out of context from its Christmas campaign.
It said: Weve 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.
FiLiA, the organisers of the largest feminist conference in the UK, challenged M&S to reverse the images and demanded to know who authorised the display.
To be clear: @marksandspencer believe that the MUST HAVES are:For MEN: outfits to impressFor WOMEN: fancy little knickersImagine for a moment if those window displays were reversed. Go on M&S …. we are watching. PS Who signed this off? #sexist #marksandspencer pic.twitter.com/XOqLUSElgd
Shopper Fran Bailey posted a photo on the Facebook group Feminist Friends Nottingham, with the comment: 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?
While she believed in the rights of everyone to wear whatever they want, Bailey said she objected to the window for both its normalisation of damaging gender stereotypes through the juxtaposition of images of women apparently obsessed with fancy little knickers with images of fully clothed men being dressed to impress in suits, and also the slogan must-have when huge numbers of Britons are struggling with poverty.
She said: I think M&S using such a strapline is just really crass when so many are without the necessities of warmth, shelter and food.
She added in relation to the juxtaposition of images: The problem is that were so browbeaten by this sort of imagery that we dont even recognise what it is anymore. Its pandering to notions of gender that are so outdated that its unbelievable that its still being spouted out. Im disgusted because Id have thought that M&S was a grown-up store that knew better.
I know M&S is not the worst offender by any means but this particular juxtaposition is just grotesque.
The window display at Marks and Spencers Ipswich store, showing the must have fancy little knickers strapline. Picture: Jessica Hill