French Connection has hired former Habitat marketer Matthew Griffiths as its new marketing chief.
Griffiths replaces Clare Dobbie, who left last month to join marketing consultancy Branded.
Griffiths joins French Connection from L’Oréal, where he was senior product manager. He has also worked as a marketer at haircare brand Charles Worthington.
Dobbie left French Connection in the middle of its latest advertising campaign, “kinky bugger”, which caused controversy and was banned from television by the Broadcasting Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) earlier this year for containing an “unacceptable level of innuendo”.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has accused French Connection of bringing advertising into disrepute after upholding more than 130 complaints against its latest poster campaign.
The fashion chain’s posters will now have to be vetted by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) for the next two years, following the ASA’s ruling that the company’s “fcukinkybugger.com” campaign was “irresponsible” and “offensive”.
French Connection, which has already replaced the posters with an apology in response to the complaints, says the campaign was intended to be light-hearted. It says research showed that most consumers did not find the strapline offensive.
But the ASA said that, while the words “kinky” and “bugger” might not be offensive when used in isolation, the poster ads could be read as “fuck kinky bugger.com” or “fucking kinky bugger.com”.
The ads were created by TBWA/London, whose creative director Trevor Beattie came up with the “fcuk” logo which has helped revive French Connection’s fortunes in recent years.