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What’s the Public’s F*#king Deal with Profanity?

The most compelling aspect of public relations is that the public keeps changing. Our attitudes toward everything in life from sexuality to profanity constantly evolve, and this makes understanding the public more of an art than a science.

Philips Norelco knows this. That’s why the razor brand took a slight risk in dropping a bleeped-out F-bomb in its most recent commercial, “I’d Date Me.” Regardless of your moral compass, we think it’s pretty funny. (Watch the video above and see if you agree.)

Perhaps what Philips Norelco knows is that there is nothing funnier than absurdity, and there is nothing more absurd than thinking bleeping out a bad word will spare anyone from knowing what word is being smothered. It’s not like these commercials are being aired on Nickelodeon.

Saying a profane word makes us listen to it, but bleeping out a profane word makes us say it in our own heads. As PR people, we can’t help but wonder if there will ever be a day when the F-bomb becomes mainstream enough to be pronounced unmolested.

Is the public ready for profanity, or are those words still too offensive?

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