Marks & Spencer leading ladies

Marks & Spencer has recruited a stellar cast for its autumn campaign

Marks & Spencer has recruited leading British ladies including Tracey Emin and Helen Mirren to lead a new advertising campaign for its autumn/winter clothing collection.

The line-up for the new ad campaign includes women drawn from diverse backgrounds and professions, such as Save the Children CEO Jasmine Whitbread, Nurse of the year 2011 Helen Allen, and Olympic gold medal-winning boxer Nicola Adams.

The women are shot by top fashion photographer Annie Leibovitz against quintessentially British backdrops, such as Tower Bridge in London and a traditional country house.

“We wanted this campaign to signal a new and confident tone of voice to introduce autumn. Annie was the perfect choice to shoot a campaign of this magnitude,” said M&S’ executive director of marketing and business development Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne.

“Annie’s photography has become synonymous with defining key moments in the history of brands over the years and, as such, we feel that this campaign is the ideal way to illustrate M&S’ move into a new era.”

The autumn/winter collection is the first that M&S has launched under a new management team. Last year, John Dixon was moved over to head up the non-food team, having been executive director of food, and Belinda Earl, the former Debenhams CEO, was drafted in as style director.

Sales of non-food, which includes clothing and homeware, have been weak in recent years. Last month M&S reported a 1.6% drop in first quarter non-food sales, while food sales rose 1.8%.

The new ad campaign will launch at the beginning of September across print, online and outdoor.