“Fat can’t” poster banned for misdemeanor

The clothing company's ads sparked 11 complaints to the ASA (Image: fatladattheback/Instagram)

The ads sparked 11 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (Image: fatladattheback/Instagram)

“Fat c*n’t” billboards were banned for causing offense after parents complained their children read them.

Sportswear company Fat Lad At The Back (FLAB)’s advertising campaign sparked 11 complaints with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after the words “Fat c*n’t…actually Fat Can” appeared on the billboards.

The regulator ruled that the ads should not be allowed to reappear, urging FLAB to “take care not to cause serious or widespread crime in the future.”

FLAB argued the ads were not created to cause offense but to challenge societal views of obese people playing sports and the assumption that they cannot participate in “sporting activities”.

The company also said they were suitable for outdoor placement as they figured kids wouldn’t substitute a U for the missing letter.

However, parents complained that they were subjected to “inappropriate” and abusive language.

London Lites, the company that owns the digital billboard, described the ads as “thought-provoking”.

They also said that the presence of the apostrophe clearly means the word is meant to be “can’t”.

The billboards were seen by some children, prompting complaints from parents (Image: fatladattheback/Instagram)

The ads will not be shown again on billboards (Image: fatladattheback/Instagram)

But the regulator said: “Research has shown that words like ‘c***’ should not be used in marketing communications at all unless they are very carefully targeted at an audience who are unlikely to be offended.”

“The ads appeared on a digital billboard, which was not a targeted medium and was therefore likely to be seen by people of all ages, including children.

“Some complainants also indicated that children they were with at the time had speculated about the nature of the word bearing the asterisk symbol, many understanding that it was intended to suggest an expletive.”

FLAB isn’t the only company to suspend ASA this month as ads for Gordon Ramsay’s gin were banned for “unauthorized claims” about nutrition.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/09/21/fat-cant-billboard-banned-for-causing-offence-17423100/ "Fat can't" poster banned for misdemeanor

Justin Scacco

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