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Watchdog turns a blind eye to Danish fu*king

Det er en fu*king lettelse, admits satellite broadcaster

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The Advertising Standards Authority has turned a blind eye to Danish "fucking" after ruling the word isn't particularly offensive in the land of Carlsberg, bacon and Lego.

The landmark decision comes in response to a single complaint about an advert for telecoms provider TDC, broadcast on TV3 Denmark, which contained the phrase "jag er så fucking stolt".

The ASA explains that the offending punt was part of "a long running and well-known humorous campaign... based around three famous comedic actors playing the roles of a middle-aged married couple and their neighbour".

It elaborates: "The husband and wife were naturists. The neighbour had no phone, internet or TV and the couple's aim was to get him updated on telecommunications."

In the advert in question, the naturist missus "sang a song in Danish", during which she warbled the line in question.

Viasat, the company responsible for broadcasting the outrage from its London base, was obliged to explain that "fucking" doesn't have the same impact in Denmark as it does in Blighty.

It provided a translation of "Det idag vi fejrer slverfest, jag er så fucking stolt", as "It is today we celebrate our silver anniversary, I'm so damn proud", and argued "that the English word 'fucking' had become part of the Danish language as a slang word, it had lost some of its original English meaning and with it its level of offence, and the pronunciation of it had even changed to 'focking', to sound more Danish".

Viasat's linguistic defence convinced the watchdog, which ruled: "The ASA understood that 'fucking', although a swear word in Danish, was much milder than, and did not have the same offensive connotations as, the word 'fucking' in English. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to viewers in Denmark."

Back in 2008, the ASA made another valuable contribution to the approved advertising lexicon when it deemed "feck" fit for human consumption. ®

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