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French town bans ad of women on the brink of a kiss

© Chaumet

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-05-28

A French town has ordered advertisers to remove posters which appear to show two women about to kiss, following complaints from embarrassed parents.

Residents in Le Pecq, an upmarket satellite town to the west of Paris, complained to the town’s conservative mayor that the posters were offensive and demanded that they be removed.

“We got dozens of calls from concerned parents who said they didn’t want their children exposed to this image,” a spokesperson for the mayor’s office told Le Parisien newpaper on Wednesday. “They said they felt uncomfortable answering their children’ questions about the poster.”

Conforming with its local contractual obligations, advertising company JC Decaux removed the posters this week.

The advertisement, seen all over the French capital, does not in fact show two women about to embrace, but is actually one woman, actress Marine Vacth, looking at a mirror image of herself in an advertisement for top French jeweler Chaumet.

Dubbed “Double Je” (Double Me), the advertising campaign is based on the myth of Narcissus, in which a man falls in love with his own reflection.

French lesbian and gay groups were quick to condemn the Le Pecq town hall for its reaction to the advertising campaign.

“Ordering the removal of these posters is an insult to homosexuals,” said Flora Bolter of the city’s LGBT centre. “We cannot be expected to hide our existence and way of life just because it embarrasses certain parents. It is perfectly normal that children should ask questions and to understand that some couples are different to others.”

It is not the first time that conservative residents of Paris's western suburbs have forced local authorities to ban advertising posters deemed inappropriate.

In 2013, Versailles and Saint-Cloud pulled posters that featured two men kissing, for the gay film “Les Inconnus du Lac”.

Date created : 2014-05-28


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