The F word in Advertising: Bad copy, bad advertising, bad for us
Since someone started messing around with fashion brand FCUK it's been the proverbial slippery slope in use of crude language in advertising. I actually wrote this piece a couple of months ago, and then did no get around to posting it. Yesterday news broke of a major company, Unilever, breaking the taboo in the use of the F word in advertising in Germany; so I thought it was past time to get it out. Maybe I could have prevented this particular travesty. This is not about the occasional slip of the tongue or embarrassing moment, as just happened between the mayoral candidates in London. This is about brands and agencies making a deliberate and consider choice to use profanity in copy.
30 years ago. So to run into the F word has long lost its shock value.
The F boat has sailed.
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Standards vary a lot around the world. I will admit that the liberal use of naked women in tv advertising in Europe mayhave played a passing role in
me trading Canada for Amsterdam back in the 90's. But Europeans in
particular are obviously not grasping the foulness of the English words
they use. Not that I'm above the occasional bit of trash talk if a pitch
is going the wrong way, or a meeting ends badly, or if Holland lost to
Germany in football.
But things have gone too far. Not in the "I'm so shocked" way, but rather in the "how bloody boring" way.
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