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Under-fire M&S wheels out new set of ‘Leading Ladies’

Marks & Spencer has unveiled the second instalment in its much-derided (the first one anyway) ‘Leading Ladies’ campaign via RKCR/Y&R, featuring photos by acclaimed snapper Annie Liebovitz.

The gals are: actress Emma Thompson; singer, songwriter and human rights campaigner Annie Lennox; campaigner and life peer Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon; singer and songwriter Rita Ora; supermodel (isn’t anyone a plain old model these days?, activist and artist Alek Wek; chef, writer and broadcaster Rachel Khoo; designer Lulu Kennedy, and structural engineer and advocate for Technical Careers, Roma Agrawal.
Annie-Lennox-Marks-And-Spencer-2014-Leading-Ladies-01-1024x682

One of ’em seems to have gone missing in the version above, no idea which one.

Anyway, are we right to mock these ads? As my colleague Paul Simons has remarked, M&S ads regularly show what the store would like to be rather than what it actually is. A bit of aspiration is fine, but it needs to be based on reality.

Do these ladies really shop at M&S? I’m sure embattled CEO Marc Bolland would like them to..but I bet they don’t shop for much.

A few more ladies on the M&S board would surely help.

Nice picture though.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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