Marks And Spencer hide Easter egg video following #StopFundingHate social media campaign
Marks and Spencer have hidden their Easter egg promotional video from Facebook after it was bombarded with people posting an image of M&S's flagship Easter egg, Laid Back Lamb, with a #StopFundingHate flag. The online protest was part of a campaign to get Marks and Spencer to stop advertising in the Daily Mail, saying that the sponsorship money is enabling the Daily Mail to promote hatred against migrants and refugees in the UK.
The M&S video featured a series of easter eggs including Laid Back Lamb and had been liked and shared thousands of times by customers. People started to post numerous images of the #stopfundinghate lamb on Wednesday evening, and M&S hid the video from their facebook page sometime before Friday lunchtime. At the time of writing, although the video is hidden from the M&S Facebook page, it is still available to view through a direct link.
Aisha Dodwell, migration campaigner at Global Justice Now said:
"Lots of M&S customers are eggs-tremely uncomfortable with the fact that it is financially supporting the Daily Mail's campaign of hate and distrust against migrants and refugees. The fact that M&S has hidden one of its flagship Easter adverts from its facebook page shows that they are feeling the pressure from ordinary people who don't want to see violent xenophobia and racism whipped up on the streets of Britain.
“Marks and Spencer proudly proclaims its ethical business credentials and presents itself as a socially responsible company so why are they associating themselves with newspapers that promote hate? The tidal wave of hatred and mistrust of migrants and refugees in the UK is being stoked and encouraged by purposefully selective and insinuating reporting from newspapers like the Daily Mail. This has huge and real consequences, from the often-violent hate crimes that migrants face on the streets of the UK, through to the child refugees in Calais that the government has decided to abandon."
In addition to the easter egg social media campaign, Global Justice Now has mailed over a thousand packs of 'secret shopper' #stopfundinghate slips across the country. These mini leaflets contain a real Daily Mail headline that proclaimed, “This tidal wave of migrants could be the biggest threat to Europe since the war,” and the back of the leaflet parodies a famous M&S advertising slogan, with “This isn’t just ordinary hate and racism, it’s M&S-funded hate and racism.” The leaflet links to a website where customers are encouraged to email Steve Rowe the CEO of M&S.
A recent United Nations report singled out the UK’s media as being “uniquely aggressive in its campaigns against refugees and migrants,” and hate crimes across the UK rose by 100% in the months following the EU referendum result. Recent campaign groups like Stop Funding Hate have been putting pressure on brands with strong ethical guidelines that advertise in newspapers like the Daily Mail, arguing that, “customers are becoming increasingly aware that by shopping with brands who advertise in divisive newspapers, they are inadvertently funding their own demonisation, or that of their family, friends and neighbours.”
In November 2016 the toy company Lego announced it was ending its promotional deals with the Daily Mail over its coverage of migration and refugees. More recently 935 companies have withdrawn advertising from the far-right website Breitbart following a public backlash and the work of the Sleeping Giants campaign.