Blog: Leonie BarrieWho gives a. . .

Leonie Barrie | 2 December 2003

Marketing firms masquerading as fashion companies is just one of many criticisms levelled at retailers French Connection and Abercrombie & Fitch, both of which promote their clothing lines with a range of shocking, offensive, witty and definitely controversial, images.

For French Connection it’s the FCUK logo and sharp slogans such as ‘The Joy of FCUK’ that have inflamed public opinion, fallen foul of the Advertising Standards Authority and led to some US chain stores boycotting the range. While at Abercrombie & Fitch, raunchy images and sexually-biased editorials masquerade as in-store posters and a quarterly magazine offers advice to teens along the lines of: "There are no sexual boundaries and no consequences to any sexual behaviour.”

While there’s nothing particularly exciting about the garments sold in either chain – sensible shoes, chinos, and V-neck sweaters – their campaigns have consistently kept the brands in the public eye. And until consumers stop responding positively to provocative advertisements I believe these crude promotions are here to stay.

It also seems that the US protestors who have pressured A&F to remove its current issue, known as the "Christmas Field Guide," may have inadvertently created a holiday must-have. Copies being auctioned on eBay today have already attracted bids as high as $42 each.

UK: French Connection Logo "Offensive" - Police


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