M&S apologises for banning the word ‘gay’ in gift messages

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Marks and Spencer has removed the word ‘gay’ from a banned list that prohibited customers from using it in gift messages.

In a statement to PinkNews, a spokesperson said: “We apologise for any offence caused, it was certainly never our intention.”

Previously, when a customer entered the word ‘gay’ into the text box to leave a message with a bunch of flowers, an error message read “Sorry, there’s something in your message we can’t write.”

The word gay has now been removed from the banned words list and can now be entered into a gift message. The chain had previously been made aware of the issue but did not change it.

“We have revised the words included on the automatic phrase checker which is in place to prevent the use and misuse of certain words.”

M&S apologises for banning the word ‘gay’ in gift messages

The word ‘Jesus Christ’ was also banned but is now accepted in messages. The words ‘terrorist’ and ‘d**k’ are still available.

Last year, M&S made all of its toys gender neutral. The chain was criticised for using unnecessary gender labels on children’s toys.

Last month, the company who makes Nutella came under fire for banning ‘lesbian’ from their personalised Nutella campaign. A statement said: “Words of communities that are often subject to attacks by malicious people were removed from the proposals.”