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M&S sexist ad claims rejected by ASA

The advertising regulator has thrown out claims of sexism over the Life on Mars actor Philip Glenister’s turn in Marks & Spencer’s Christmas TV campaign following about 100 complaints.

In the £10m campaign, which broke last month, actor Glenister is seen propping up the bar giving his opinion on what is great about Christmas.

“Oh come on, it’s Christmas,” he says. “That girl prancing around in her underwear.”

The ad then ends with M&S lingerie model Noemie Lenoir dancing around a forest in her underwear.

The Advertising Standards Authority has decided not to pursue a formal investigation of the campaign, which was created by the ad agency RKCR/Y&R, and has closed the case.

According to the Guardian, an ASA spokesman said:”With regards to M&S, I can confirm we received 100 complaints but we did not consider there were grounds for an investigation and have closed the case.”

“We did not believe the comment, made by [Philip Glenister’s] character of Gene Hunt, about a well-known M&S underwear model was derogatory and considered it was unlikely to be interpreted as a negative comment on women in general or be seen as objectifying her.”

In the days after the campaign launched, the ASA received half a dozen complaints from members of the public that the ad was sexist.

The ASA subsequently received dozens more complaints, while as many as 150 members of the public got in touch wanting to support Glenister and back the ad campaign.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I quite liked that ad - I had noticed that they stopped showing it! The M&S Christmas ad has become a Christmas tradition - I much preferred that one to the image of James Nesbitt eating Brussel Sprouts!

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