‘Beautiful floral bedding for spring’ is the title of an email I received a few days ago from M&S (Marks & Spencer, if you’re unfamiliar with the brand). My initial reaction was ‘Is this supposed to be for me?’: I suspect that isn’t quite what M&S were aiming for.
When I voiced my ‘whuh?’ on social media I got a reply from the M&S Twitter feed:
For a millisecond I wondered if the ‘floral bedding’ email was an elaborate phishing scam, before concluding that the M&S Twitter person might not be versed in the full detail of their newsletter campaigns.
But my reaction stayed with me. Why do M&S think I’m the sort of person who buys flowery bedding in spring? I buy new bedding when I need it, not because the daffs are coming up. As far as I know, I have never bought bedlinen, or floral anything, from M&S. The things I buy from M&S are school uniform, tights, Percy Pigs, and the occasional pair of black trousers. I never get emails about those.
This leads me to suspect that I am on some sort of ‘middle-aged women’ mailout list. Here are some subject lines from M&S emails just this month:
Midi-length: the chicest choice for work and weekends (what is midi-length?)
Lil’ LonDunn by Jourdan Dunn is now live! (Er, who? What? Should I be pleased? On further reading this is a new supermodel-designed kids’ clothing line, plastered with ‘LonDunn’ logos. I think I’ll pass)
How to wear the straight-leg jean (I presume that you put one leg in at a time and do them up),
Summer towels you’ll love (!!!)
Perhaps I’m overthinking this, but marketing emails urging me to refresh my towels for summer make me more likely not to shop at M&S. Now that tailored, targeted adverts flash at me on the web all the time, the M&S approach of chucking everything at me that they think someone of my age and gender might like just seems lazy. I feel that M&S doesn’t ‘get’ me, and that makes me want to find a shop that does. Or just go to a bookshop.
And no, I don’t want to find my dream denim match now. Geesh.