So it turns out "booking" isn't actually a rude word - or that's what the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has decided, after an ad for travel website Booking.com became the most-complained about ad of all time.
The ad racked up just under 2,500 complaints over the voiceover, which went something like this:
The door opens, you hold your breath, and then you realise. You got it right. You got it booking right. Because it doesn’t get any better than this. It doesn’t get any booking better than this. Look at the view - look at the booking view. This is exactly what you booking needed.
We noted that the word ‘booking’ was used throughout the ad in a variety of contexts that each lent themselves to substitution with an expletive, and that many viewers would understand the use of ‘booking’ as word-play on the word ‘f***ing’.However, we considered that the voiceover artist enunciated the word clearly and that it was sufficiently distinct so as not to be generally confused with the word ‘f***ing’.
It added that although some had been concerned the ad would encourage children to use the word "booking" in the same manner as the ad, "we did not consider that this was tantamount to having encouraged these children to use expletives".
We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to condone or encourage swearing among children
Decide for yourself what you think - here's the ad: