TBWA's Gershwin spot reaffirms fcuk brand

French Connection is backing its fcuk positioning with a second TV ad campaign through TBWA/London.

The black-and-white commercial, "pool duel", features a boy and a girl competing in a game of pool choreographed to a remixed version of the Gershwin classic Let's call the whole thing off. The remix was done by Shaggy who also takes lead vocals. In an acknowledgement of the "You like tom-ay-to, I like tom-ar-to

lyric, the spot finishes with the legend: "You say French Connection. We say fcuk".

The campaign was written by Trevor Beattie, art directed by Bill Bungay and directed by Graham Fink through FinkTank.

Manning Gottlieb OMD is handling media planning and buying and has planned a teaser ten-second campaign across all channels.

The full 30-second ad breaks on 5 May in programmes including Friends, Teachers and Hollyoaks.

Beattie said: "The brand has always had a dual identity. To some it's French Connection, to others fcuk. It was nice of Gershwin to produce such a totally apt lyric. He would probably have said fcuk."

French Connection unveiled its first TV ad, also through TBWA/London, last year. It showed a young couple communicating their lust only using words beginning with "F", "C", "U

and "K".

In March, French Connection reported a 30 per cent jump in operating profit from £19.3million to £25 million. The company's chairman and chief executive, Stephen Marks, attributed part of this success to the effect of French Connection's targeted advertising campaigns.

Its fcuk campaign has courted controversy, however. Marks was forced to apologise for last year's "kinkybugger

press and poster campaign, which was a factor in French Connection agreeing to submit all non-broadcast ads to the Advertising Standards Authority for pre-vetting for two years.