Spotify has been censured by the advertising watchdog for sending a promotional email with the Lily Allen song title “F*** You” in it.
The promotional email that was sent to customers included the text: “Have you heard this song by Lily Allen? Give it a try. F*** You,” taken from the title of her 2009 single.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned Spotify from using the advert, ruling that the swear word was likely to cause “serious or widespread offence”.
The online streaming service argued there was a clear difference between using deliberate bad language and using it in the context of the advert.
It added users under the age of 18 had to have the consent of a parent or guardian to join the service and those under 13 were not allowed to sign up.
But the ASA said recipients of the email would not have expected it to contain offensive language.
“While we considered Spotify users would understand the use of ‘F*** You’ to be the title of the song, we considered recipients from the general online music service would not expect them to include swearing,” the ASA said.
“We consider the use of ‘F***’ was likely to cause serious offence to some recipients of such emails and therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.”