The arrival of the holiday season has brought with it the first wave of controversy, as Marks and Spencer (M&S) faces backlash for its 2023 Christmas ad campaign. The festive advertisement, titled ‘Love Thismas (Not Thatmas),’ has ignited a debate on the balance between cherished holiday traditions and personal enjoyment.
Featuring an ensemble of British talent, including Hannah Waddingham, Zawe Ashton, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and Tan France, the M&S ad aims to encourage people to break away from the expectations and chores of the festive season. Set to a cover of Meatloaf’s ‘I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)’ by Ray BLK, it showcases the stars engaging in unconventional holiday activities, like burning Christmas cards and playfully discarding traditions.
However, the lighthearted approach did not sit well with everyone. Some critics took issue with the ad, bizarrely accusing M&S of being “woke” and attempting to “cancel Christmas” because of its inclusion of LGBTQ and Black individuals.
Critics Accuse M&S of Being “Woke” and Trying to “Cancel Christmas”
Online comments echoed the sentiment of those who felt M&S was out of touch with traditional British values. One user on the social media platform X lamented, “Our family will never use your store again. Go woke go broke.” Another user chimed in, decrying the ad as an “attack on traditional British values and culture.”
The notion that M&S was attempting to cancel Christmas gained traction on social media, with some expressing frustration at perceived efforts to limit the celebration of the holiday season. However, it’s essential to note that these views were not universally held.
Supporters Find Humor and Empowerment in the Ad
Amid the controversy, there were those who appreciated the ad’s message. Some found humor in the over-the-top response, with one person humorously noting that “gammons and Karens” were up in arms over a simple message of holiday relaxation. Others pointed out the humor and the message of freedom from rigid traditions.
While the M&S Christmas ad has sparked heated debate, it serves as a reminder of the evolving cultural landscape and the ongoing conversation around inclusivity and tradition during the festive season. In a world of changing values and perspectives, holiday campaigns like this one continue to spark discussion and reflection.