UK cycling brand's apparently obscene advert is proving highly divisive

Fat Lad At The Back's seemingly offensive billboard addresses body bias present within cycling and fitness industry

Two cyclists in a phone box
(Image credit: Fat Lad At The Back)

A new advertising campaign for UK cycling clothing brand Fat Lad At The Back, which it says focuses attention on the way larger people on bikes are treated within society, has seen billboards and posters featuring what appears to be a highly offensive obscenity crop up around London. 

The slogan used in the campaign is ‘Fat Can't, actually, fat can’, but by replacing the second 'a' with an asterisk the ads - created by agency Mellor & Smith - read as 'Fat C*n't, actually fat can', something that can be interpreted entirely differently.

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Tom joined Cycling Weekly in early 2022 and his news stories, rider interviews and features appear both online and in the magazine. 

He has reported from some of professional cycling's biggest races and events including the Tour de France and the recent Glasgow World Championships. He has also covered races elsewhere across the world and interviewed some of the sport's top riders. 

When not writing news scoops from the WorldTour, or covering stories from elsewhere in the domestic professional scene, he reports on goings on at bike shops up and down the UK, where he is based when not out on the road at races. He has also appeared on the Radio Cycling podcast.