M&S REMOVES Christmas advert 2023 post & apologises as viewers claim Palestine colours are 'insensitive' | The Sun

M&S has removed a Christmas advert post showing party hats being burned after critics claimed they were in the colours of the Palestinian flag.

The retail giant faced a backlash after teasing an Instagram outtake from its new festive ad starring actress Hannah Waddingham and Queer Eye fashion guru Tan France.

Marks and Spencer has now issued a statement after some viewers claimed the post was "insensitive".

It comes amid the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict which has killed thousands.

M&S responded by deleting its social media post and apologising for any "unintentional hurt" caused.

But ad star Tan France has hit back at critics – insisting the clip was shot in August, two months before the Hamas terror attack on Israel on October 7.

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He accused opponents of making "ridiculous comments" about the image, which depicted red, green and silver paper party hats tossed into an open fire.

M&S has insisted any resemblance to the Palestinian national colours was unintentional.

The ad appeared to be making light of being forced to wear party hats at Christmas.

The original M&S Instagram post was accompanied by the words: "This Christmas, do only what you love…like saying no to paper hats."

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But critics branded it "insensitive" and "disgusting", drawing comparisons with the colours of the Palestinian flag. 

France responded by posting a selfie on Instagram with the caption: "The ad was shot in AUGUST, so maybe you're reaching with your ridiculous comments?"

The high street firm issued its own statement online, explaining why it decided to take down the original post.

M&S posted on X, formerly Twitter: "Today we shared an outtake image from our Christmas Clothing and Home advert, which was recorded in August.

"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."

Many were quick to support the company.

One poster wrote: "Get a grip people! M&S you have done nothing wrong. The ad was not in bad taste at all."

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Another commented: "Such a shame you've even had to issue this statement, people need to lighten up and stop reading into everything."

Other celebrities featured in this year's M&S festive ad campaign include pop singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor and actress Zawe Ashton.

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