French Connection Group PLC: Scent To Bed campaign

Mark Lane


In 1997 the French Connection Group PLC embarked on a rebranding of its flagship French Connection line of clothing, which was sold in both department stores and stand-alone company stores throughout the world. The company's agency, TBWA\London, used an internal company moniker, FCUK (French Connection United Kingdom), as the conceptual basis for a newly brash brand image. Featured on product labels, storefronts, and in advertising that overtly encouraged the subliminal rearrangement of the acronym, the letters FCUK proved an immensely successful marketing device. The brand name was exported to North America in 1998, and subsequent advertising campaigns used the near-obscenity to incite predictable and, for French Connection, lucrative controversies. A 2003 print and promotional campaign on behalf of a line of FCUK fragrances, however, was bolder than previous FCUK campaigns, and it met with more mixed results.