Spotify rapped over Lily Allen ‘F*** You’ ad

An ad from Spotify drawing users’ attention to Lily Allen’s “Fuck You” track has been banned by the advertising regulator for its likelihood to cause “serious offence”.

Spotify Lily Allen ASA
A shot from the banned Spotify Lily Allen email promotion.

The promotional email included the text “Have you heard this song by Lily Allen? Give it a try. Fuck You”.

Spotify said the song was not chosen as a deliberate ploy to be controversial in order to drive traffic and instead tracks were recommended based on an algorithm, which takes into account a user’s listening history. That meant the user was likely to have listened to Lily Allen’s tracks before or music from a similar genre.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that while Spotify users would understand “Fuck You” to be the title of a song, recipients of emails from a general online music service would not expect them to include swearing.

The watchdog ruled the use of the word “Fuck” was likely to cause “serious or widespread offence” and warned Spotify not to use similar swear words in its forthcoming marketing campaigns.