Marks & Spencer director of store marketing and design Nayna McIntosh fielded questions on pre-Christmas discounting and controversial Christmas ads in a live web chat on Facebook on Tuesday.
Several consumers asked whether Marks & Spencer will run 20%-off days as it did last year and following rival Debenhams’ 25%-off promotion last week. One participant wrote: “No reply on all the questions about the 20%-off days. Do you not know or are you not saying.”
McIntosh responded: “In regards to all your questions on the 20%-off day, as we’ve already said it’s the question everyone wants answering but we’re not going to be saying any more on this today.”
Marks & Spencer’s festive season ads have attracted some criticism for alleged sexism for featured comments made by Life on Mars star Philip Glenister about lingerie model Noemie Lenoir. Asked in the ad what he cannot do without at Christmas he says: “That girl prancing around in her underwear.’’
Most participants’ were supportive of Marks & Spencer’s ads but one wrote: “Did nobody consider possible complaints of sexism or was that intentional given such complaints would generate extra publicity?”
McIntosh said: “It was never our intention to offend. The choice of personalities for our Christmas ad was based on national treasures. We have tried to feature product that we are well known for at Christmas. Lingerie is a real customer favourite and we have built up a style of customer communication around this.”
The web chat was Marks & Spencer’s second, following one about Plan A in the summer. McIntosh said Marks & Spencer will also use YouTube to communicate with customers in future.