French Connection issues profit warning

French Connection warned on profits for the third time in 18 months today after a controversial advertising campaign failed to chime with shoppers.

French Connection warned on profits for the third time in 18 months today after a controversial advertising campaign failed to chime with shoppers.

The clothing retailer said trading over Easter was difficult and fell short of its expectations, with like-for-like sales at its stores in the UK and Europe down 2% since the end of January.

This was despite a major advertising blitz which showed two well-dressed women kung fu fighting in a basement before they kissed.

Launched under the logo “Fashion versus Style” in February, the campaign drew more than 100 complaints from viewers and was referred to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Chairman and chief executive Stephen Marks said: “There is little indication at the moment that the market conditions or our trading performance will change.

“While the board continues to focus on driving improvements in each of our businesses, and we are only a short way into the year, we are materially reducing our expectations for the full year results.”

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