A mum has told Marks & Spencer to “get a sense of humour” after the store refused to print a cheeky message on her daughter’s birthday cake.
Donna Patrick had ordered the £35 piped rose sponge cake for her daughter Elice’s 18th celebrations and opted against a “bog standard” message to be printed on top to go for something with a bit more “banter”.
After filling out the form and paying for the order, Donna received a call from M&S to say that her request for the message ‘I’m glad you were the strongest sperm’ to be iced on had broken the store’s ‘rules and regulations’ and wouldn’t be fulfilled.
The 39-year-old took to social media to slam the decision, saying there’s “nothing at all offensive about sperm” and branded the supermarket’s policy “absolute snowflake behaviour”.
Hospitality worker Donna was forced to buy a normal cake for Elice and says the store has “lost their sense of humour”.
Following Donna’s post online, M&S has since apologised and said that while it does have guidelines around messages on their cakes, “on reflection they could have proceeded with the order” and have sent Donna flowers to make up for the disappointment.
The mum, from Pulborough in West Sussex, said: “It’s my daughter’s 18th birthday. We have that relationship where we can be a bit cheeky and she would have found it hilarious.
“I ordered it last week and got a phone call on Wednesday from the bakery. I had a voicemail off the bakery lady and she just said ‘it’s M&S, we want to talk to you about your cake’.
“By the time I got back to them, it was a customer service man who said they won’t do it. He said they’ve got regulations and rules about what they won’t do.
“I was like ‘well, it’s not swearing’. There’s nothing offensive about sperm as far as I know. It’s like they’ve lost their sense of humour. Get with the times. It’s a bit old fashioned.
“M&S can’t take a joke. I thought to myself, if I’d have sworn, I would get it, or if it was something completely offensive, but there’s nothing at all offensive about sperm.”
Despite the customer service representative admitting that he found it amusing, the message was banned and Donna was instead forced to put a simple ‘Happy 18th Birthday’ message on the cake instead.
The mum said she was given no particular reason as to why the message wasn’t allowed, adding: “It was a pretty cake, but I just wanted to add something a little bit [offbeat]. You’ve got to have that banter.”
Posting on social media, she wrote: “Had my Marks and Spencer cake personalisation request refused today! Had a phone call and had to change it!
This is no swearing and it’s not offensive (I’m guessing the bakery gals know where babies come from?!!!) Absolute snowflake behaviour!”
The post racked up plenty of comments, as one person demanded: “That’s hilarious! Make the cake M&S.”
A second wrote: “In such dark times surely you can honour a ‘spunky’ attitude @marksandspencer?”
And another added: “Let Donna have her cake! Stop being cake-ist M&S!”
A Marks & Spencer spokesperson said: “We do have guidelines around personalised messages on our cakes but on reflection we could have proceeded with the order.
“We’ve apologised to Miss Patrick and have changed the message to her original request, we’re also sending flowers as a goodwill gesture. She’s really happy with this and grateful we were able to organise.”