A MALVERN woman has protested the new M&S Christmas advert - by giving out Christmas cards outside the company’s Malvern store.

M&S caused controversy when an outtake from its Christmas ad showed hats in the colours of the Palestinian flag burning in a fire.

That image hasn’t been used in the final advert, but singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor is shown setting fire to Christmas cards using a blowtorch.

Jackie Collins, who works in the greeting cards industry, said she was disappointed by the message being sent out by M&S.

By way of protest Jackie, who runs Cherry Orchard Publishing in Tewkesbury, spoke to shoppers outside M&S at Malvern retail park on Saturday (November 11).

She also gave out 180 Christmas cards - one for every year since the first Christmas card was sent in 1843.

“I even included second class stamps so the only thing it would cost someone to send the card is their time,” said Jackie, who wore a Mrs Claus outfit for the occasion.

“I don’t understand the message M&S are trying to send. They sell Christmas cards themselves and this is an industry worth £1.6 billion.

“The response has been lovely - I was quite nervous coming here but people have been coming up saying ‘oh yes, I love to send Christmas cards’. There has been no negativity even with the cost of postage.”

Jackie also advocates the positive impact receiving a card can have on someone’s mental health.

“M&S supports [mental health charity] Young Minds and sending cards can help combat loneliness, which is a major issue. Just imagine the effect receiving a card can have on an older person who lives alone.”

Jackie said that as well as giving out cards, she would be donated £100 to Young Minds and £100 to Age UK.

M&S were unavailable for comment.