Anti-Smoking Ad Leaves a Bad Taste in the Mouth
Wednesday February 24th 2010, 8:50 am
Filed under: advertising & marketing,articles,news,weird

anti smoking ad in france shocking and in bad taste
Tagline: To smoke is to be a slave of tobacco.

It’s clear that who ever was responsible for this anti-smoking ad for teens in France was in search of shock value. The article from the telegraph says it shocked France, but I doubt that. It’s definitely in poor taste and has a lame sexual innuendo but I believe people here would just do their Gallic shrug and unexcitedly say, “Pffff.” I’m sure these anti-smoking ads will not in the slightest deter teens from smoking, in any case.

Here’s an excerpt from the telegraph:

The adverts, presented earlier this week, show an older man in a suit pushing down on the head of a teenager with a cigarette in her mouth, in a position that suggests oral sex. Another version of the advert shows a teenage boy in a similar position. The accompanying slogan reads: “Smoking means being a slave to tobacco”.

“The campaign trivialises sexual abuse – worse, it implies guilt on the part of the abused,” read one angry comment on the website of “Droits des Non-Fumeurs” (“Non-smokers’ Rights), the organisation behind the campaign.

Droits des Non-Fumeurs said the posters showed neither rape nor abuse, but were meant to shock.
The adverts, which will be published in newspapers and bars, are designed to target young people in France, who are beginning to smoke in increasing numbers despite a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants.

Read the full article

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Short People Ordered to Stand Behind Sarkozy During Speech
Monday September 07th 2009, 10:02 am
Filed under: articles,funny,people,politics,weird

HEE. Doesn’t everyone already KNOW he’s short? Anyway.

From the telegraph:

Twenty short people were ordered to stand behind French President Nicolas Sarkozy to make him look taller while delivering a televised speech.

They were bused in after being “vetted” by aides of the French President who made sure none were more than his own height of 5ft 5ins.

The extraordinary scene unfolded at the Faurecia motor technology plant in Caligny, south of Caen, in Normandy, last Thursday.

Despite Mr Sarkozy’s lack of inches, he looked far more statuesque than usual as he posed in front of the group of white-coated technicians on a specially erected stage.

In a broadcast on French television on Monday, a woman researcher admitted on camera that she had been chosen because of her small size.

Asked by the TV journalist Jean-Philippe Schaller if it was necessary for her to be no taller than the President’s 5ft 5ins – a height which rises to around 5ft 7ins thanks to his stacked heels – she replied: “There you have it.”

Pictures were then shown of the 20 workers on board a coach which brought them in from other parts of the three-mile-square Faurecia site.

All admitted that they were among the smallest members of the 1,400-strong Faurecia workforce, and had been selected to replace the usual workers in the unit where Mr Sarkozy made his speech about the car industry.

Mr Sarkozy, who is notoriously…

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Picasso Museum in Paris to Close for Renovation
Saturday August 22nd 2009, 10:17 am
Filed under: art/culture/design,articles,news,paris,tips,travel tip

From AP:

Paris’ Picasso Museum is closing its doors for renovations, spiriting away its masterpieces under high security to government warehouses for more than two years while seeking to expand the much-visited but cramped site.

The museum will be free to all visitors Sunday, the last day before the work begins.

It will stop lending out Picasso artworks during the overhaul, which will begin with experts updating, computerizing and restoring the inventory, museum director Anne Baldassari said Saturday.

The museum, in a baroque mansion in Paris’ Marais district, opened in 1985, and it traces the Spanish-born artist’s prolific career. Picasso died in 1973.

Renovation of the 3,000-square-meter (32,000-square-foot) space will begin early next year. It is expected to last two years and cost euro20 million, the museum said in a statement.

“It needs modernizing,” Baldassari said, citing electrical problems and the need to make it more accessible to people with reduced mobility.

She also wants to boost attendance — currently at about half a million people a year — and attract more young people by expanding exhibition space and adding halls for student activities.

While the museum has about 5,000 pieces in stock, it only displays 250-300 at a time, she said. “We can’t continue like this,” she said.

To guard against theft of the museum’s riches during the renovation, the artworks will be packaged and shipped, under tight security, to storerooms managed by the national museum authority, Baldassari said. The entire process is very “locked-up and watched by police,” she said on France-Info radio, declining to give further details.

Picasso’s paintings, sculptures and sketches are among the world’s most coveted artworks and are often targeted by thieves.

The museum will continue to host education and cultural events related to the Picasso collection at other sites while the renovation is done.

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Why are Speedos still popular in France? WHY?!
Thursday August 13th 2009, 7:28 am
Filed under: articles,cultural differences

From the guardian:

“So Alton Towers has banned embarrassingly titchy swimming trunks at its water park. But spare a thought for France, where the opposite is true: local authorities regularly force men to ditch their Bermudas and parade in skin-tight budgie-smugglers for the greater public good.

In French public pools, from the racing lanes of Paris to the open-air lidos and water parks of the south, anything bigger than Speedos is banned and you must hoist yourself into a posing pouch as a civic requirement. French changing rooms are littered with the broken dreams of prudish males abroad who thought they could sneak in a few lengths without showing their contours.

One Paris-based Irish journalist recalls how he attempted some early-morning back-stroke in a pair of standard Marks & Spencer navy swim shorts that came “about halfway down my thighs”. As he lowered himself into the shallow end, the pool attendant screamed that…”

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316 Years Ago Today Dom Pérignon Invented Champagne…or Did He?
Tuesday August 04th 2009, 2:02 am
Filed under: articles,food and drinks,history,products

champagne franceFrom wired:

“1693: Champagne is said to have been invented on this day by Dom Pierre Pérignon, a French monk. It almost certainly isn’t true.

Because Dom Pérignon lived at the Benedictine abbey in Hautvillers at the time of his “invention,” the village in France’s Champagne region, not far from Èpernay, is generally regarded as the birthplace of the bubbly.

But like many historical claims, the night they invented champagne appears more …”

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Related: The Making of French Champagne, Radioactive French Champagne