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Home Misleading Marks & Spencer Poppy Sales Three Percent False Rumour

Marks & Spencer Poppy Sales Three Percent False Rumour

by Brett M. Christensen


Rapidly circulating social media post claims that UK store chain Marks & Spencer is only giving the Royal British Legion three percent of sales from poppies it sells. 

Brief Analysis

The claims in the message are untrue. Marks & Spencer sells a diamante encrusted poppy brooch for which it donates 30% (not 3%) of the retail sale price to the Royal British Legion. The company also allows Royal British Legion volunteers to collect at its stores.  The Royal British Legion states on its website that it is extremely grateful for the support of Marks & Spencer. Sending on this nonsensical and inflammatory rumour may actually damage fund-raising efforts by causing people to stop buying poppies.


Please do not be tempted to buy M&S’s own poppies as they are only donating 3% to the British Legion, who have had a gagging order imposed upon them by M&S about this – utterly disgusting


Detailed Analysis

A message currently going viral via social media posts claims that UK store chain Marks & Spencer is only donating 3 percent of sales from poppies it sells to the Royal British Legion. It asks that people do not buy poppies from M&S in protest. It further claims that M&S has put a gag order on the Royal British Legion about the issue.  
However, the claims in the message are untrue. Marks & Spencer sells a diamante encrusted poppy brooch for which it donates 30% of each sale to the Royal British Legion.  And these sales are in addition to normal fund-raising efforts conducted by Royal British Legion volunteers at M&S stores. M&S notes via replies on its Facebook Page:

The Royal British Legion are pleased with the support we’re offering as we’re donating 30% of the sale of this brooch. We’re hoping to raise an extra £500,000 for the poppy appeal from the sale of this brooch. We’re proud to be supporting The Royal British Legion to raise money for the fantastic work they do within the Armed Forces community. You can read more about our partnership here: http://bit.ly/1iymIWj

And the Royal British Legion has posted the following information about the fund-raising initiative on its website:

Marks & Spencer has been supporting the Poppy Appeal for many years by allowing our volunteers to collect at their stores and in 2012 M&S customers raised almost £1 million!

In 2012 M&S also sold a diamante encrusted poppy brooch which was available in all UK stores and proved so popular it sold out within a couple of weeks. With 30% of the retail price donated to the Legion it helped to raise a further £169,000.

Additionally, the Legion was also one of the four charities chosen by M&S to benefit from its ‘Thanks a million’ campaign – a social media promotion which raised a further £3,600.

In 2013 M&S will once again be selling a diamante encrusted Poppy brooch which will be available in two sizes, as well as a bracelet and a stud pin. All products are on sale from 7 October, with 30% of the retail price donated to the charity.

M&S’ donation will help fund vital services such as grants for those in financial difficulty, employment advice and funding to ease the transition from Service to civilian life.

Charles Byrne, Director of Fundraising said, “The Royal British Legion is extremely grateful for the support that Marks & Spencer and its customers have shown once again this year. The money raised by M&S, will help us continue our vital work protecting the interests, welfare and memory of the Serving and ex-Service community.”

Thus, the claims in this bogus protest message are not only untrue but may actually hamper fund-raising efforts by stopping people from buying poppies or donating to volunteers at M&S stores.

If you receive this message, please do not pass it on to others. And please take the time to let the poster know that the information in the message is false and counterproductive.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,