The French Connection United Kingdom (FCUK) clothing line
has come back fighting after their controversial advertising
After going against advice from the Copy Team, the company got
their trademark "FCUK Advertising" registered. They
placed an advertisement of a photographed head shot with only
the headline "FCUK advertising" on the right. The registered
trademark was indicated with the (TM) icon and only a small line
stating "FCUK is a trademark of French Connection United
Kingdom". This advertisement was shown in Marie Claire,
a women's magazine.
The ad prompted criticism from the Advertising Standards Association.
Complaints started pouring in. This caused Adjudicators to recommend
the use of dots between the letters because they felt that the
quick reader may see it as offensive language. What ever happened
to free press?
One avid reader of Marie Claire stated after seeing the advertisement,
"I chose to buy the magazine, so I am choosing to view the
ad. Besides, this magazine has offensive language in a lot of
The F.C.U.K advertising pressed on with their campaign. All
over cities you can see billboards and T-shirts with the F.C.U.K.
advertising trademark. Their latest campaign features the slogan
"My place Now".
"I don't think it is appropriate," said one teen
from Saskatchewan. "There are better ways to catch readers
attention. Better ways to relate to clothing."
In the wake of that advertising campaign, the company saw its
sales cut in half. But since then, they have clawed their way
back. FCUK advertising is back, and they are stronger than ever.
This is due to the higher profile created by its risky marketing
strategy. Sales have rose from 41.7 million to 50.6 million,
and new stores are opening everywhere.
David Bernstein, the chairman of F.C.U.K. advertising, said,
"I am very pleased that, following last year's record profits,
we have achieved further progress in the first half of this year.
It is particularly encouraging that our performance is broadly
based, with strong retail and wholesale trading in both the UK
and the USA."