Controversial ad campaign pays off for clothing company

By Kelli Corscadden
SNN News Editor
Windthorst, Saskatchewan

The French Connection United Kingdom (FCUK) clothing line has come back fighting after their controversial advertising campaign.

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 articles."

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."