M&S cuts X Factor misfit from ad - but not fast enough

Nov 9, 2011

Appearance of bad boy Frankie Cocozza in M&S Christmas ad coincides with news of profit fall

RED FACES at Marks & Spencer where they were unable to move quickly enough to cut X-Factor misfit Frankie Cocozza from its glossy Christmas TV campaign.

Cocozza was kicked off the talent show yesterday because he broke what the producers called one of the show's "golden rules". The Daily Mail elaborated, claiming it was his "boasting about cocaine-fuelled sex sessions" that did for him.

However, the M&S advert, in which X Factor contestants sing lines from When You Wish Upon A Star, went out last night complete with Cocozza’s cameo.

A spokeswoman for M&S told the Daily Mirror that it was always the intention to edit the ad as the X Factor series progressed and contestants were eliminated in order to "keep the focus" on the remaining singers. It is thought Cocozza will no longer feature in the ad when it goes out tonight.

Having said that, M&S has moved a great deal more quickly to remove Cocozza from the ad than The Risk and Johnny Robinson, who were voted off on Sunday and still appeared on the ad that aired on TV last night.

At least the incident has pushed far more serious tidings about M&S down the news agenda. Half-year profits at the store have fallen 8 per cent compared with the same period last year to £320.5m. Food sales were the only area of M&S to show an increase, with sales rising 2 per cent thanks to the popularity of a 'dine at home for £10' offer.

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