‘Fockers’ mailing puts DVD retailer under ASA scrutiny

Sendit.com, the Belfast-based online DVD and CD retailer, has been reported to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over a recent mailing promoting the DVD release of the film Meet the Fockers.

One of the company’s recent weekly e-mail newsletters promoted the film with the phrase: “Great Focking Prices at Sendit.com”. So far, Sendit.com admits it has received dozens of complaints about the choice of words, many accusing the company of “dumbing down” and “catering to the MTV generation”. A spokesman for the ASA confirms that the regulatory body has received complaints about the mailer, and is looking at whether any breach of its codes may have occurred to see whether a formal investigation is needed.

The ASA has jurisdiction over internet advertising and e-mail marketing, as well as over online viral marketing that can be shown to have been actively distributed by a company or its agents.

Sendit.com marketing executive Fiona Murray says in a statement: “This film uses some fantastic word play, even so far as to have the lead character called Gaylord Focker. We simply wanted to extend this cheeky play on words in a way that would get our customers’ attention… it certainly did that. We of course apologise to all those offended by our choice of wording and thank those members of the MTV generation who got a laugh from the e-mail.” The statement was headed: “Focking Sense of Humour Failure!!”

Sendit.com is one of the UK’s longest-established online DVD and video retailers. It has over 1 million registered customers worldwide and over 500,000 subscribers to its weekly e-mail.

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