Britvic forced to pull new brand Freekin’ Soda over swearword link

Britvic Soft Drinks has been forced to rename one of its key launch products for 2003 just weeks before it hits the shelves, after being advised that the original name “Freekin'” would be unsuitable for a children’s drink.

Insiders say that the name for the company’s new carbonated milk-based drink, due to launch imminently, has been switched late in the day as the original name is a substitute for a swearword.

Freekin’ Soda has been in development since 2000 but the Freekee brand name was only brainstormed in November last year.

Experts say that Britvic was advised the word “freekin'” would not be suitable for pre-watershed television advertising. The word is a standard dubbing substitute for the word “fucking” in films screened on television that might attract younger viewers.

Uisdean Maclean, director of the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre, would not comment on a specific instance but says that the word could prove unsuitable if attached to a children’s product. “It’s generally used as a substitute or euphemism for ‘fucking’ and the word would certainly cause us to scratch our heads a little bit.”

Britvic refused to comment but did say it had not signed any advertising or supply contracts under the name Freekin’ Soda.

Category director Andrew Marsden has been overseeing the launch strategy for the product. Clemmow Hornby Inge, which won Britvic’s Tango account last year (MW February 7, 2002), is working on the advertising campaign for the new brand.

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