M&S drop their lingerie as Succah ad sparks offence

By Leon Symons, September 21, 2010
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An advertisement for women's underwear placed next to a shop selling equipment for Succot in Edgware, north-west London, is to be replaced.

The hoarding showed a scantily-clad woman advertising underwear for Marks &Spencer and was situated directly above an outlet of a temporary Sukkah Mart store, at the corner of Edgwarebury Lane and Station Road.

Na'ama Heller, the shop's manager, said: "We opened last week and the advertisement appeared over the weekend right next to the shop.

"We spoke to the Advertising Standards Authority, which said it didn't break their guidelines, which was ok for them. But it was not acceptable by Jewish standards and many of our customers commented on it when they came in. It was totally inappropriate to have it placed there."

Comments appeared on the Edgware K e-mail list and a petition protesting about the advertisement was started.

However, after being contacted by the JC, a spokesperson for M&S said: "We are sorry if the location of this advertisement has caused any offence. That certainly was not our intention.

"While we have used this site many times in the past, before the temporary store, we appreciate that its presence is now a concern. We have now replaced it with a non-lingerie advertisement."

Local Barnet Cllr Brian Gordon got in touch with the hoarding’s owner, JC DeCaux, to ask for the advertisement to be replaced with one that was more appropriate.

“I also got in touch with M&S, as did a number of people who used the shop. I am very happy that they listened to local people and they have changed the advertisement,” said Cllr. Gordon.

Last updated: 10:17am, September 22 2010