The M&M/Mars food company withdrew a television commercial for one of its products Wednesday after a national coalition of girls private schools protested that the advertisement portrayed all-girls schools negatively.

The commercial for Cookies-n-Cream Twix, which showed "good news-bad news" scenarios to promote the product, implied that attending an all-girls school was "bad news."The company, a division of Mars Inc. with headquarters in Hackettstown, N.J., said it reviewed the commercial for the cookie bar after receiving a mailgram from the Coalition of Girls Schools suggesting students and their parents boycott Mars products.

The Coalition of Girls Boarding Schools also protested the com-mer-cial.

Mars is the nation's second-largest candy producer after Hershey Food Corp.

"In light of the complaint, the company immediately reviewed this commercial, and while not agreeing at all with the characterization made by the coalition, nonetheless decided to withdraw this commercial, effective immediately," Mars said in a statement.

The coalition said that the ad, which showed a girl sitting on a staircase in a shot through the balusters, associated girls schools with prison.

"Obviously, you and your advertising agency are uninformed about girls schools and the opportunities they afford young women," the coalition said in a mailgram sent to M&M/Mars Tuesday.

Mars said the commercial, which began airing recently, was intended to be a humorous play on words "but has turned out to be disturbing to some people, and for this we apologize."