GGT’s ’fcuk fashion’ French Connection ads fall foul of ASA

Posters for the French Connection fashion chain featuring the line ’fcuk fashion’ have been banned because of their obscene innuendo.

Posters for the French Connection fashion chain featuring the line

’fcuk fashion’ have been banned because of their obscene innuendo.



The Advertising Standards Authority has ordered the ad to be withdrawn

and told the company not to use the initials again as they might be seen

to be a play on the word ’fuck’.



The controversy arose over the GGT-produced poster, showing a model in

the bottom right-hand corner and the headline ’fcuk fashion’ in the top

left. The rest of the poster was blank.



The poster was part of a pounds 3 million effort to give French

Connection more personality and made its debut in April on a 150

foot-long billboad at London’s South Kensington Underground station.



The poster was produced by Trevor Beattie, GGT’s creative director, and

its then executive creative director, Jay Pond-Jones. At the time

Beattie admitted that the ad was ’a bit edgy’ but said it was aimed at

people with ’attitude’ who didn’t take themselves too seriously.



Complaints to the ASA condemned the ad as obscene and a ’shameful

attempt to attract attention’.



The advertiser argued that fashion brands often use initials instead of

their name and that ’fcuk’ had appeared on shop windows, point-of-sale

material and t-shirts.



But the ASA dismissed the company’s justification of the poster, saying

that consumers would not generally know that ’fcuk’ was a reference to

French Connection UK. It claimed the ad was likely to cause serious and

widespread offence because it would be misunderstood.



Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).