M&S stands by World Cup ad starring Walcott

Marks & Spencer denies it looks “silly” by featuring Theo Walcott in its World Cup ads, since the player failed to make the England squad.

The retailer says it will not change the ads or pull the campaign.

M&S launched its ad campaign last month featuring current players including Theo Walcott, Emile Heskey, and Steven Gerrard wearing the official England suits along with the strapline: “Three Lions, One Tailor”.

A complementary ad features members of the winning England 1966 World Cup team dressed in M&S suits with the strapline: “Four Legends, One Label”.

The chain has been lambasted by the press for starring the unsuccessful Walcott in its multimillion pound campaign.

M&S is standing by the ads, saying it is a “great campaign and customers are responding well to it.”

A spokesperson for M&S says: “The deal was with the FA, not with individual players. M&S is proud to be England’s official suit sponsor.”

“We always knew we were taking a risk, but nine of the 12 players shot for the campaign made the squad.”

The Arsenal player also stars alongside Wayne Rooney in Nike’s high-profile global World Cup TV ad.