The high street retailer is believed to be looking for a big showpiece spot this year – in contrast to last year's shorts based on its "Art of" and "Adventures in.." formats – after a film crew was spotted spraying fake snow in a plush residential square in Islington.
Pictures obtained by The Daily Mirror showed a helicopter packed with gifts had been flown to the location, where residents were reportedly paid up to £3,000 per day for the use of their homes.
Two Georgian terraced houses were decked out in tinsel, complete with Christmas tree in the window, while an Australian sheepdog is rumoured to play a key role in the spot.
Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, M&S' ad agency, would not comment. The WPP shop is pitching against Grey London, The & Partnership, and VCCP for the business after it was put up for review in May.