FCUK rapped over condom e-campaign

French Connection has had its knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) yet again over the use of its FCUK trademark in an advertising campaign.

An e-mail ad for FCUK condoms, entitled “FCUK safely”, used the strapline: “Practise safe sex go FCUK yourself”. The watchdog says this is likely to cause serious or widespread offence because the word “FCUK” has been used to represent “fuck”.

The ASA first banned the slogans “FCUK advertising” and “FCUK fashion” in 1998 (MW January 22, 1998). The retailer flouted the ruling three years later, when a press ad for the company’s Oxford Street store used the tagline: “World’s biggest FCUK” (MW January 11, 2001).

The ASA has since ruled that the chain’s poster ads have to be vetted by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) for the next two years, following the decision that the company’s “fcukinkybugger.com” campaign was offensive and irresponsible.

The ASA has upheld a complaint against Mars UK for running an internet pop-up ad that misleadingly implied that consumers who collected 70 chocolate wrappers would receive a free Xbox. The ad stated: “Chocollect… 70 wrappers=Xbox.”

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