In simpler times, a sandwich meant egg mayo, cheese and tomato and for the more adventurous, maybe a bacon, lettuce and tomato.

But with the launch of its £3 (R56) lettuce, guacamole, bacon and tomato snack to mark this year’s gay Pride parade, Marks & Spencer seems to have bitten off more than it can chew.

The special edition sandwich, which is boxed in rainbow packaging, has had guacamole added to the traditional BLT so that the ingredients spell out the acronym LGBT.

The company has also said it will donate more than £10,000 (R189 000) to charity as part of its campaign. But despite its best intentions, the sandwich, pictured, has sparked a backlash from shoppers and those within the LGBT community. 

Aaron Wright, an artistic director, wrote online: ‘I felt so enraged I left. Basically equating us to a sandwich? Can’t imagine them doing this with other marginalised groups.’ Another critic added: ‘‘Whilst it is ‘good’ a national company is raising awareness, this is blatant exploitation of a marginalised community for a huge profit.’

Piers Morgan even found time to weigh in, tweeting: ‘Gay sandwiches? Is there no cynical virtue-signalling depth struggling companies won’t now plunge to make a profit?’ He then claimed the firm makes nearly £1,000 a minute, adding: ‘So this magnificent gesture of pathetic tokenism will take them around ten minutes to pay off...’

A Marks & Spencer spokesman said: ‘The BLT is one of our most-loved sandwiches and we’re really excited to give it a delicious twist for our customers to enjoy while celebrating Pride season.’

© Daily Mail