Marks & Spencer has taken down and apologised for a social media post that showed red, green and silver paper party hats burning in a grate after critics likened it to the Palestinian flag.
The image was an outtake from its Clothing and Home Christmas ad "Love thismas (not thatmas)", which was released earlier this week and created by Mother London.
Critics on social media suggested that the retailer used the image to signal support for Israel. The Israel-Hamas conflict has escalated significantly in recent weeks.
Forty complaints about the post have been made to the Advertising Standards Authority, which said it was reviewing them to determine whether there were grounds for action but is not currently investigating the post.
n another social media post, M&S apologised for any "unintentional hurt caused" and explained that the ad was shot in August, before the situation in Israel and Gaza began.
M&S explained that the image was supposed to "playfully show that some people just don’t enjoy wearing paper Christmas hats over the festive season".
Palestine supporters also reacted to a shot of Sophie Ellis Bextor’s blue eyeshadow which showed a flame in her pupil, which they claimed was a reference to the Israeli flag.
Campaign has contacted M&S and Mother London for further comment.