‘Fat c*n’t’ billboards have been banned for causing offence after parents complained their children were reading them.
Athletic clothing company Fat Lad At The Back (FLAB)’s advertising campaign sparked 11 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after it ran the words ‘Fat c*n’t… actually, fat can’ on the posters.
The regulator ruled the adverts cannot appear again and told FLAB to ‘take care to avoid causing serious or widespread offence in the future’.
FLAB argued the ads had not been created to cause offence, but rather to challenge societal views towards obese people exercising, and the assumption they cannot take part in ‘sporty activities’.
The company also said they were suitable to be placed outdoors as they assumed children would not replace the missing letter with a U.
However, parents complained they were being exposed to ‘inappropriate’ and offensive language.
London Lites, the company that owns the digital billboard, described the ads as ‘thought-provoking’.
They also said the presence of the apostrophe clearly means the word is meant to be ‘can’t’.
But the regulator said: ‘Research had shown that words such as “c***” should not be used at all in marketing communications, unless very carefully targeted to an audience that was unlikely to be offended by them.
‘The ads appeared on a digital billboard, which was an untargeted medium and was therefore likely to be seen by people of all ages, including children.
‘A number of complainants also identified that children they had been with at the time had speculated on the nature of the word featuring the asterisk symbol, with many understanding that it was intended to suggest an expletive.’
FLAB is not the only business ASA has overruled this month, with adverts for Gordon Ramsay’s gin banned over ‘unauthorised claims’ about nutrition.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Read the full article here