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.