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FST AS FCK tagline grabs attention... not all of it positive

Mark Cavendish aims to take the yellow jersey on the opening day of the 100th Tour de France on Corsica this Saturday, and finish the race in the green one on the Champs-Elysées three weeks later. The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider has also announced the launch of his own brand, CVNDSH, which will feature products from Oakley, Specialized and Nike – although it seems to be the FST AS FCK slogan that is attracting most attention, not all of it positive.

Speaking yesterday in London, the 28-year-old, who in recent weeks has achieved two big firsts, clinching the points jersey in the Giro d’Italia and, on Sunday, the British national road race championship said: "I've worn the leader's jersey in the Vuelta and the Giro; I haven't worn the yellow jersey yet so I'd like to do that. It's a big, big goal for a team built around stage wins."

Were he to win that opening stage from Porto-Vecchio to Bastia on Saturday afternoon, Cavendish would become just the third Briton to have worn the leader’s jersey at all three Grand Tours – the others are David Millar and Sir Bradley Wiggins.

However, the former world champion, winner of all five sprints he contested at last month’s Giro d’Italia, including on the opening day in Naples and the final stage in Brescia, said he expects the competition to be fierce.

"It's a strong group of sprinters this year,” explained Cavendish, quoted in The Daily Telegraph. “To get a win won't be easy, especially in the first stage of the Tour.

"History has showed it normally takes me a few days to get into a Grand Tour. Not at the Giro this year, but before that.

"We'll go for it, but you have to show the Tour de France respect - nothing's a given. We'll try our best and see what happens."

Saturday will also be Cavendish’s first race in the colours of British champion after he beat the man who has worn that jersey for the past 12 months, Sky’s Ian Stannard, and Garmin-Sharp’s Millar to the title in Glasgow on Sunday. It’s a prospect he relishes.

"To wear a jersey for a year, to represent my country as the champion, that's a massive honour,” he says. “Hopefully I'll do it proud and show that Great Britain is a dominant force in cycling."

Cavendish, winner to date of 23 career stages of the Tour de France, four of them in the final day on the Champs-Elysées where he has never been beaten, won the points classification in 2011.

Cannondale’s Peter Sagan beat him to that prize in last year’s race and the pair are expected to be the main protagonists in the fight for the green jersey this time round.

"It's the colour I chase," admits Cavendish. "The green jersey in the Tour de France every year is what my whole career goes around."

It’s unsurprising then that the colour features prominently in the identity of his new brand, CVNDSH, which was launched yesterday, and which will feature products from Specialized, Oakley and Nike.

At the moment, the website comprises just a holding page that links to Cavendish’s personal website.

The brand’s slogan, FST AS FCK, has already attracted plenty of comment, not all of it positive, on social media sites such as Twitter.

Inevitably, comparisons are being drawn with clothing brand French Connection’s former four-lettered FCUK acronym that saw the company regularly cross swords with the Advertising Standards Authority.

The brand dropped that acronym from its advertising in 2004 and it now only uses it on certain ranges, but the business has struggled to recapture its former success, not helped of course by the economic downturn that kicked in towards the end of the decade.

So, over to road.cc users in the comments below: CVNDSH: FST AS FCK – or TIRED AS FCUK…?

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

35 comments

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Al__S [1018 posts] 3 years ago
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UTTR RBBSH. FR FCKS SK. FR TH FCKNG MRKTNG MRNS THT CM P WTH THT SHT

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SPAM Naval [139 posts] 3 years ago
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he's kicking himself there's no U in Cavendush..least then he could have have justified the missing letter theme a bit more...that said, its feckin stupid and juvenile and dne to deth alrdy!! gt lfe cv

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farrell [1950 posts] 3 years ago
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MGMT.
MSTRKRFT
SBTRKT
NZCR//LINES
CHVRCHS

It avoids search engine and copyright image issues with similarly named products or services.

He may also be a be a fan of PRML SCRM'S XTRMNTR album.

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davecochrane [140 posts] 3 years ago
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Surprised that Specialized are happy to be tagged with this despite Cav's success.

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joemmo [1164 posts] 3 years ago
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Chavendish, unfortunately.

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farrell [1950 posts] 3 years ago
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davecochrane wrote:

Surprised that Specialized are happy to be tagged with this despite Cav's success.

They're probably pretty happy, it could have just been a "Why CVNDSH?" "Why is he launching a brand?" affair and all forgotten in an afternoon.

However, chuck on a throwaway strapline like 'FST AS FCK' and all of a sudden Specialized and Oakley are getting vicarious column inches and publicity and people are talking about it (and them) right in to the next day and possibly longer.

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alexholt3 [53 posts] 3 years ago
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davecochrane wrote:

Surprised that Specialized are happy to be tagged with this despite Cav's success.

Couldn't agree more, there's no red or S logo in it anywhere... God forbid something they're involved with that isn't plastered in their branding.

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Simon E [2681 posts] 3 years ago
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"FST AS FCK" ???

 13

Oh my f'ing life, that is so incredibly CRAP!

How much did they pay the advertising knob-jockeys to come up with that?

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Colin Peyresourde [1719 posts] 3 years ago
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A bit disappointing. Lacks a bit of class. Why not MNX MSSL? That's what he's called.

I love Cav, but something a bit more decorous would be preferable.

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Edgeley [338 posts] 3 years ago
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oh dear, what a pile of S H T

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Rushie [40 posts] 3 years ago
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Oh I dunno. I suppose if I think about it a bit (heaven forbid) it's a bit juvenile and does mean parents are less likely to buy t-shirts or whatever for their offspring. But when I first saw it it did put a smile on my face. And it takes a lot to do that these days.

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Dog72 [106 posts] 3 years ago
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FST AS FCK
is missing
I R E U
A Possible nod to the days of rooming with Big Bernie?

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mikeprytherch [223 posts] 3 years ago
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It clearly works then doesn't it, all you guys are talking about it, what is the purpose of Marketing, to raise brand awareness which in turn sometimes turns into a purchase, maybe not by you (because you are not the target market), but you complaining about it to a mate, your mate thinks, I like that and hey presto he has the shirt.

Well done on the free advertising  1

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RichmondTTer [8 posts] 3 years ago
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Considering his girth in the past it should read

FAT AS FCK

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 3 years ago
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he may be the fasting sprinter in the world right now, but he's still an arrogant little t**t imo ...

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colinth [191 posts] 3 years ago
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Terrible, chavtastic, tacky, and not really what I want to see when I'm tring to get my son into the sport. Anyone be buying this for their kids ? If a footballer did it he'd get destroyed

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joemmo [1164 posts] 3 years ago
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mikeprytherch wrote:

It clearly works then doesn't it, all you guys are talking about it, what is the purpose of Marketing, to raise brand awareness which in turn sometimes turns into a purchase, maybe not by you (because you are not the target market), but you complaining about it to a mate, your mate thinks, I like that and hey presto he has the shirt.

Well done on the free advertising  1

depends if you subscribe to the view that all publicity is good publicity. I'd say that a product range supposedly targeted at cyclists being roundly slated by cyclists is not a great start. If cyclists aren't the target market then who is? Despite the 'British Cycling Renaissance' etc Mr Cvndsh is still not really a household name to Joe Bloggs. The sport just isn't mainstream enough to make this thing crossover from a niche. Shame because potentially it could have done something positive for the image of the sport, this just looks crass

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dafyddp [356 posts] 3 years ago
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Not to everyone's taste, but I think i's pretty good and designed for a clear target market.

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djcritchley [181 posts] 3 years ago
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TTR CRP

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Super Domestique [1596 posts] 3 years ago
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Usually I like Cav but this is dire.

Having spent years in marketing, the concept is dire too! Can't believe they went with this one.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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Juvenile.

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Doper [69 posts] 3 years ago
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Moronic.

Who the fck is advising him?

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botoxking [31 posts] 3 years ago
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I like it. I'd prefer to have that than 21st Century Fox written on my arse!

I'm sure it works with the Cav image that the marketers are trying to push. A bad boy cyclists who dsnt gve a fck what outraged middle aged middle England cyclist website readers think!

My reading of the comments on this page have only increased my enjoyment of the strapline!  4

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Cycle_Jim [264 posts] 3 years ago
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As far as logos go it's awful, could they not have thought of anything better than 'a green arrow represents speed, and the green jersey' fckng hell!

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joemmo [1164 posts] 3 years ago
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@botoxking I think you've mistaken dismay for outrage.

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WolfieSmith [1318 posts] 3 years ago
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And surely it should be Specialised? Unless all French words end up with a Z and Leisure becomes Leizure and Pleasure no fun at all.

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farrell [1950 posts] 3 years ago
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Specialized are an American company, the Americans like to change words with S to words with Z, unless I'm missing something with the French thing?

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Al__S [1018 posts] 3 years ago
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RichmondTTer wrote:

Considering his girth in the past it should read

FAT AS FCK

Only ever in pro-cycling terms. In normal terms he's always been SKNNY S RK.

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Ghedebrav [1100 posts] 3 years ago
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Super Domestique wrote:

Usually I like Cav but this is dire.

Having spent years in marketing, the concept is dire too! Can't believe they went with this one.

I'm a marketing bod myself and I don't think it's that bad. Not as neat as the Wiggins/Fred Perry thing, but that was always giong to be a fairly unique fit.

In road cycling there is some space between the artisanal Rapha/Brooks/Rivendell image and the pure technical stuff, and they seem to aiming for that.

OK, it's a bit clunky in execution (the no-vowels thing is a bit hackneyed, as is the now-tame reference to a swear word) but as a direction it seems a sound attempt to capitalise on (and further promote) his quite distinct image and personality at a time where cycling is on the up, he's a fairly well-known name (though few know what he actually does) and he's likely to be in the sporting headlines over the coming weeks.

I also suspect that Cav had very little at all to do with this other than signing off the idea at its most basic conceptual level.

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 3 years ago
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farrell wrote:

Specialized are an American company, the Americans like to change words with S to words with Z, unless I'm missing something with the French thing?

The -ize / -ise thing isn't even a case of American English vs British English.

The Oxford English Dictionary shows 'specialize' as the main entry, followed by 'also -ise'.

Most people here use -ise, -isation etc and in the US they do stick with -ize, ization etc, hence people thinking it's Americanism, which it isn't.

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