ASA raps ‘offensive’ French Connection poster campaign

French Connection’s deliberately risky poster campaign, headlined “fcuk fashion”, has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for being offensive.

The series of posters, which featured part of a photograph of a model and a huge expanse of white space, was the first work for the fashion chain through ad agency GGT under the leadership of new creative director Trevor Beattie.

Several people found the headline obscene and “a shameful attempt to attract attention by playing on the word ‘fuck'”, according to this month’s ASA report.

Although French Connection argues that the slogan was an acronym of French Connection UK, the authority concluded that this would be misunderstood.

Elsewhere in the report the authority warned car manufacturers to stop encouraging dangerous driving by using speed to sell cars , and upheld a complaint against an ad for the Saab 900 from Lowe Howard-Spink which exploited this theme.

Advertisers which exaggerate crime levels to sell products by playing on people’s fears were also rapped by the ASA. One press advertisement for insurance from the Swinton Group through Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which featured a burglar and the headline: “It’s only a matter of time before I visit you”, was criticised, and the advertisers were asked not to repeat the ad.

Latest from Marketing Week

Marketing Week Meets… Mark Ritson

The Marketing Week columnist, consultant and professor explains why marketers need to talk about “making money first”, in a podcast recorded at the Festival of Marketing in October.


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here