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French Connection TV spot causes furore

Feb '06
A tube ad showing wet T-shirt clad women thropwing blows at each other and finally making up with a kiss has stirred a contrioversy for French Connection.

Costing £2m and aired on British television six times last week, the ad campaign saw Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) receiving over 100 complaints since the commercial first aired.

TV viewers who complained said the depiction of violence and sexual exposure was offending them.

ASA has decided to find out it infringed on its stipulated night transmission guidelines of beyond 9 pm.

Conceived by ad man Trevor Beattie who is famous for pinching FCUK acronym from an internal memo and conceptualising the most controversial campaigns ever.

Whether it is the 'lesbian kiss' or the violence, French Connection sure has connected something special with UK viewers to hook upon, for now.

Its more akin to a quote from Yves Saint Laurent, the French designer, who once observing two women fight each other say: "Fashion fades, style is eternal."

The advert has given reason for activists and women organisations to come out against the campaign.

Meanwhile, brushing aside criticism, French Connection spokeswomen came out saying "Our brand is irreverent. We want to stand out from the crowd. We think the ad celebrates the female because she is both sides of the story."

Brits Awards will feature this campaign and will definitely have more for viewers to chew than to bite

Earlier in the US too, the retailer's slogan 'Scent to Bed' for a new fragrance had Christian lobby group, American Family Association "baying for its blood."

Early this year, the ASA put a stop to the company's spring campaign that promoted French Connection's commercial radio station, FCUK FM.

Poster carried the line "FCUK FM FROM PNUK TO RCOK AND BACK. NON-STOP FNUK FCUK FM" that was considered offensive by the ASD.

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