No phuc-ing way: Restaurant not required to remove posters following complaints

No phuc-ing way: Restaurant not required to remove posters following complaints

Posters for a Vietnamese eatery which contained the phrase "Phat Phuc" have been cleared by advertising chiefs following complaints that they were offensive.

Two members of the public complained the slogan in adverts for Glasgow's Hanoi Bike Shop sounded like a swearword.

But the Ruthven Lane canteen, in the city's west end, said the phrase was pronounced "Fet Fook" in Vietnamese and meant "Happy Buddha".

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigated the complaints but ruled they would not be upheld.

The body concluded the posters were "unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence".

Two posters for the noodle bar were seen on a train on October 19 and at a train station on November 13.

They carried text that stated: "Get your noodle on! First Tuesday of every month four delicious noodle based dishes."

The ads also showed two slogans with text that stated "Phat Phuc ... The Hanoi Bike Shop".

The ASA received one complaint which alleged that the ad was offensive because it sounded like a rude word when spoken.

Another member of the public objected along similar lines and claimed that the ad was inappropriate for public display where children could see it.

Hanoi Bike Shop clarified the pronunciation and meaning of the phrase in Vietnamese, and said it was the name of an event that had been running for months and was used for naming some of their dishes.

In a ruling published on Wednesday, the ASA acknowledged the word in question sounded similar to the F-word expletive.

But clearing the business, it went on: "However, we noted that the Hanoi Bike Shop sold far eastern cuisine, which both posters had made sufficiently clear.

"In the context of the posters, we considered that viewers who might have been offended by bad language were likely to recognise that 'Phuc' was from a reference to Southeast Asian language, was different from the expletive and would not necessarily be pronounced in the same way.

"We therefore, concluded that the posters were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence."

Responding to the second complaint, it considered that "younger children who were unlikely to comprehend that 'Phuc' was a Vietnamese word were also unlikely to read or pronounce it as the expletive".

The ASA concluded the posters had not been irresponsibly placed and no action was ordered by the body.