A Nottingham Marks & Spencer window display which said women’s “fancy little knickers” were a “must have” and was placed next to a display which suggested men’s “must have outfits to impress”, has been branded “sexist” and “vomit inducing” by campaigners.
The window display was later altered by campaigners to read “must have full human rights”, with Facebook group ‘Feminist Friends Nottingham’ the first to raise concern. This morning, Retail Sector found that the window has since been covered by 20% off window banners. The display also led to outrage on Twitter, with feminist charity FiLiA telling M&S “we are watching”.
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
— Siân Louise (@SianLouise34) November 16, 2018
To be clear: @marksandspencer believe that the 'MUST HAVES' are:
For MEN: 'outfits to impress'
For WOMEN: 'fancy little knickers'
Imagine for a moment if those window displays were reversed.
Go on M&S …. we are watching.
— FiLiA (@FiLiA_charity) November 18, 2018
When posting the original image of the M&S display, Facebook group member Fran Bailey said: “Okay, 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?”
The chain said its stores had various combinations of Christmas window displays, and that the same two displays would appear next to each other at some stores.
An M&S statement read: “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.”
FiLiA called the company’s response “painfully poor” and said it was “ignoring the wider issues and their contribution to maintaining sexist stereotypes”.