The revelation that the celebrated campaign and its models could go, reported today in the Daily Telegraph, comes as the chain's high-street stores felt the full force of the credit crunch in the six months to 27 September, with profits down a massive 44% to £307.8m.
According to the Telegraph, M&S's executive director of marketing, Steven Sharp, did not yet know whether the cut in marketing budget would see the models dropped. "We have a lot of options," he said.
Overall sales over the six-month period rose by 0.8% to £4.2bn; with international sales up 23.9%. However, like-for-like sales were down 5.7% and general merchandise and food sales were down 6.2% and 5.3% respectively.
Stuart Rose, M&S's chief executive, said: "The economic environment has changed dramatically and we are now facing the most difficult retail conditions since the early 90s.
"We remain confident in our long-term growth prospects: to drive our brand in the UK and improve the quality of our trading space; to grow M&S Direct; and to develop our international business. We must also respond to the current climate and changing needs of our customers."
It was a different story for budget retailer Primark, which reported a profit hike of 17% to £233m.
M&S's Christmas advertising campaign kicks off this week featuring, amongst others, Twiggy and O'Connor, while actor Robson Green is providing the voiceover for a series of food ads.