13th time is the charm, FCUK needs to fcuking stop it

The UK Advertising Standards Authority are getting miffed at FCUK again and have warned FCUK, this is the 13th time since 1999 that the ASA has published an adjudication regarding French Connection's adverts.
The latest ads are for the FCUK perfume, with the usual fold-out samples, with pictures of a young couple sitting in a bed wearing only underwaer and the headline reads: "open here to try fcuk her" and "open here to try fcuk him."
FCUK argued that FCUK is the brand name and the headline clearly states open the fold-outs to try the perfumes named "him" and "her".
The ASA responded that in the context of the ad, the phrases "could be interpreted as 'fuck,' not just as the advertiser's brand name." and reminded French Connection "that it had previously made clear in published adjudications that 'fcuk' should not be used in an advertisement if it could be interpreted as 'fuck' and was concerned that they had done so in the advertisement."
The perfume ads were placed in Boots magazine and received only two complaints from the public.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (7)

  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    Have you seen the new tee shirts for Democrats?
    In huge caps on front/back - or small, delicate lettering embroidered on polo shirts (for the few Dems allowed into that Republican stronghold, the country club) ---


    Jan 14, 2005
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    This is a very bad problem, a brand name that is similar to a foul word. I almost mistook it 2 times as well. This is because one of the most common errors in speed reading is transposed letters, resulting in a misinterpitation, and most people, including me will speed read to screen content they want to read.

    I question I want to ask is: "Is FCUK playing a dirty joke?" I think whomsoever thought this up should have been fired from the ad agency. I also kept on wondering if it is an acrostic using french words that is to be used in future advertisements by FCUK. In a few cases, I've seen no connection with the brand name at first, then a year later, the advertiser reveals an element of the brand name, perhaps the way it was thought to be. Expect to see this no longer in existences soon.

    Jan 15, 2005
  • caffeinegoddess's picture

    Yawn. So tired of hearing about this. Wasn't there hubbub about the perfume in the states some time last year? I guess everytime someone gets riled up about the name, French Connection just smiles- they're getting plenty of free press.

    Jan 15, 2005
  • deeped's picture

    There is a bad wind of conservative right-wing fundamentalistic Christian anti-sexuality blowing through the world. Beware, soon we all be Victorianistic victims with chastity-belts...

    Jan 16, 2005
  • James_Trickery's picture

    I'm sure Beattie gets a bonus every time a little FCUK controversy hits the papers. Or a boner.

    Jan 16, 2005
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    While that article is mind-blowing, you should see that FCUK used to have a website, http://fcukinkybugger.com. Now the domain is up for sale.

    New Marketing Strategy:

    Use the full name (French Connection United Kingdom) instead of FCUK.

    second note: Reverseing the 3rd and 4th words in the acrostic is results in something startling


    Does the brand really wand a "United Connection Kingdom?"

    Jan 16, 2005

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