Marks & Spencer are in hot water over a festive window display. The retailers Nottingham store has revealed a window display that showcases male manikins dressed in suits with the slogan ‘must have outfits to impress’, whereas on the other side of the window are female manikins dressed in nothing but underwear with the tagline ‘must-have fancy little knickers.’
The display was quickly deemed as sexist by the community due to its extreme juxtaposition, insinuating that men should be seen in powerful clothing that depicts authority. Where women are promoted to be nothing more than sex objects in ‘fancy little knickers.’
After being slammed by the feminist community Marks & Spencer went in to crisis control mode, releasing a press statement saying that the window display was part of a wider PR and marketing campaign that features a variety of “must-haves” for the festive season, including an advert that sees model David Gandy washing up in an M&S suit right through to families cuddling up in M&S pyjamas.
It is obviously clear that Marks & Spencer have missed the mark with this campaign. For the company to now be labelled as insensitive towards equal rights is probably one of the worst outcomes the retailer could have asked for from this PR campaign. At the end of the day if your PR campaign needs to be explained to the public in a press statement then it has failed.
This failed campaign from Marks & Spencer’s has proven the worth of market research on all levels of the campaign. It seems they were focused more on how the overall campaign will be received and forgot to check if the individual elements would be received well by the public.
Once you have a campaign ready to launch you need to get feedback from people in your target audience. Using tools such as survey monkey means you can create questionnaires to gather information on what people think of your campaign allowing you to make adjustments before going live.
If you need help creating or streamlining a public relation or marketing campaign then contact our award-winning team here at VerriBerri, digital marketing agency, on01376 386850.