M&S threatens Ann Summers with legal action for copycat ads

M&S: threatens Ann Summers with legal action
M&S: threatens Ann Summers with legal action

Marks & Spencer has threatened lingerie and erotic retailer Ann Summers with legal action for a series of ads that mimic the supermarket's "food porn" ads.

An M&S spokesperson, in a strong-worded statement, said: "Over the past 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."

A source close to Marks & Spencer told Marketing that the company believes the Ann Summers campaign to be "entirely offensive".

The Ann Summers ads reverse the M&S lettering to display S&M and an image of a bottom covered in melted chocolate, instead of M&S's usual strawberry.

The ad parodies the M&S meal deal with an offer for bundled sex items.

At the bottom of the ad the strapline reads "It's not just Sex, its Ann Summers Sex".

Gold Group International owns the Ann Summers and Knickerbox brands. An Ann Summers spokesman said the images were not ads, but in-store marketing.

Press material supporting the Ann Summers launch, dubbed the "squeal deal" includes frank references to the "satirical version of the hugely popular M&S Meal Deal".

The deal launches tomorrow and includes three items for £29 – a lingerie "main", sex toy "side" and flavoured lubrication "dessert".


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message