Lingerie and saucy toys specialist Ann Summers is pulling its Your S&M promotional campaign - a cheeky parody of Marks & Spencer’s marketing - after the high street giant threatened legal action.
However the ploy provoked fury at M&S, whose bosses feared that the hijacking of the famous brand could be damaging.
In a statement, Ann Summers chief executive Jacqueline Gold said: “I have nothing but respect for Marks and Spencer. We wanted to take one of the most iconic campaigns and add a humorous Ann Summers twist.
“Maybe in hindsight it was a squeal too far and we sincerely hope we haven’t damaged the 127 year old institution that is Marks and Spencer. By the time this goes to print I hope to have spoken personally to Marc Bolland and shared this with him.”
Earlier this afternoon a Marks & Spencer spokesman said: “Over the last 127 years Marks & Spencer has built up a great reputation for quality and trust in the hearts and minds of the British public.
“When we believe these values are being infringed, we do whatever we can to protect our brand and our customers. We therefore are taking legal advice with a view to issuing legal proceedings.”
Ann Summers has already removed all references from its website and materials will be taken down in-store.
An Ann Summers spokesman said: “Unfortunately we have had to prematurely withdraw with our campaign.”