M&S knickers display 'won't change over feminist concern'

image captionThe juxtaposition has been described as "grossly, grossly offensive"

Marks & Spencer has said it won't change a display suggesting women must have "fancy little knickers", amid a feminist backlash.

The retailer was blasted for its "vomit-inducing" shopfront in Nottingham, which included a menswear showcase of "outfits to impress".

M&S said its festive windows were routinely updated and any changes would not be due to the backlash.

It also told the BBC it would not be altering its nationwide ad campaign.

The commercials follow the theme of "must-haves" for men and women and feature model David Gandy doing the washing up.

Gandy has responded to the backlash by tweeting that men who want any "must have fancy knickers" can find them at M&S.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Criticism of the window display grew when a photo was posted in a Facebook group called Feminist Friends Nottingham.

Fran Bailey asked: "Ok, 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?"

image copyrightSiân Steans
image captionA campaigner altered the window so that it read "full human rights" instead of "knickers"

Speaking to the BBC, she said the display gave the impression women were "preoccupied with fancy little knickers, whereas men are presented as powerful and needing to be impressive".

Another window display at the same Nottingham store is aimed at women and suggests they, too, must have "outfits to impress".

image copyrightM&S
image captionThe wider campaign includes an image of model David Gandy washing up

M&S said in a statement its stores had various combinations of Christmas window displays, but the same two displays would appear next to one another at some other branches.

The statement added: "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."

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