French advertising companies are often criticised for using sexual images to sell everything from designer spectacles to sweetcorn. Now, for the first time, a controversy has erupted in France over the use of sexually suggestive posters as a deterrent.
A campaign to discourage young people from smoking shows male and female teenagers kneeling in front of a man, as if being forced to have oral sex. A cigarette takes the place of the man’s sexual organ. The caption reads: “Smoking is to be a slave to tobacco.”
The campaign, which was devised for a pressure group supporting the rights of non-smokers, has been attacked as “scandalous” and “potentially counter-productive” by feminist and pro-family campaigners.