French Connection ad incites wave of protests

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[London] French Connection's latest controversial U.K. campaign-a TV spot featuring a lesbian kiss and a fight between two women (AA, Feb. 20)-has provoked a barrage of protests from more than 100 U.K. TV viewers. French Connection and its agency, Trevor Beattie's startup Beattie McGuiness Bungay, London, plan to also run the spot in U.S. cinemas.

The Advertising Standards Authority, the U.K.'s ad watchdog, is still debating whether to launch a formal investigation into the ad, but confirmed it had received 125 complaints by last week. An ASA spokesman said that about one-third of the viewers who complained were concerned about violent behavior in the ad, which includes martial-arts style kicks and a head-butt. Others complained about the kiss. Some viewers said they believed the ad was deliberately created to shock. If the ASA investigates and decides the complaints are justified, the ad may be taken off the air.

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