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Too sexy for my France, too sexy for my France, too sexy...
October 8, 2003 2:46 PM   Subscribe

But nudity is part of our culture! In a rare move, a French advertising sector association has called on underwear manufacturer Triumph to withdraw a billboard campaign for its Sloggi range, which has been widely condemned as offensive to women. The fear among advertisers is that the ad with its explicit exposure of the models' buttocks will prompt the government to replace the existing system of industry self-regulation with laws on what can and cannot be portrayed in ads.

Some pretty good lines here:
  • "It's the strip-tease context which is the problem in the Sloggi ads. ... It is very damaging for the image of advertising," said Joseph Besnainou
  • "Since the 19th century, the dress code of prostitutes has tended to set the tone for women as a whole," feminist author Florence Montreynard told LCI television.
  • "These models are beautiful by some criteria, but their buttocks are those of adolescents rather than of real women. Are women supposed to get a complex about that?"
  • "But nudity will always be used in adverts in France," he said. "It's part of our culture."

The link to some of the ad creative in question. Caution: Flash required, as well as it being not necessarily safe for France, which means it's definitely NSFW in the English speaking world.
posted by psmealey (37 comments total)

 
Cool bullet points.
posted by anathema at 2:55 PM on October 8, 2003


Any motion to rid the world of photos of people in thongs (or, in an ideal world, thongs themselves) is okay by me. How anyone can find them sexy is beyond me.
posted by dobbs at 2:59 PM on October 8, 2003


I know this if off topic, but I can't help it: using the word "creative" as a noun (as in "we have great creative") gives me the willies. Don't do it.
posted by stevengarrity at 3:21 PM on October 8, 2003


I don't see the problem. I've seen the same in French adverts before. There are just more thongs this time.

on preview: here here stevengarrity, and they give Americans a hard time for butchering French.
posted by jmgorman at 3:27 PM on October 8, 2003


I was unable to see the ad (the server seemed slow and unresponsive for some reason), but on general I'd say that people who want to regulate the dress (or lack thereof) of others are seldom happy, well-adjusted persons with the best of mankind in mind. They should be treated with mistrust.

If you don't want to be naked - fine.
If you don't want others to be naked - move to Greenland.
posted by spazzm at 3:55 PM on October 8, 2003


Why is something considered acceptable on the beach not considered acceptable anywhere else? Is it because these are underwear, rather than swimwear and therefore taboo? I understand that different dress standards apply for different situations, but would the uproar be as loud if they were ads for thong bikinis?
posted by dg at 3:57 PM on October 8, 2003


I'd say that people who want to regulate the dress (or lack thereof) of others are seldom happy, well-adjusted persons with the best of mankind in mind. They should be treated with mistrust.

Agreed.
posted by rushmc at 4:00 PM on October 8, 2003


And I'm so tired of the "this advertising is making me feel inadequate"-meme.

If you're a fat disgusting wretch, get some exercise, dammit!
At least stop taking it out on those with more willpower and/or better genes than you.
posted by spazzm at 4:01 PM on October 8, 2003


[/bookmarks site]
[/cancels Victoria Secret catalog]
I live off the pool, this is nothing, try woman well beyond needing some support going topless;P
Notice the thong works well for woman whom may be considered small bosom. Yet if you're big bosom, having more cover on top looks lame to an extent.

but would the uproar be as loud if they were ads for thong bikinis?
The adds are not just underwear/pants on the site, the topless ones are bikinis, the girls are turned just showing buttocks.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:04 PM on October 8, 2003


What do thongs have to do with boobs?
posted by Hildegarde at 4:15 PM on October 8, 2003


What do thongs have to do with boobs?
sorry was reading out by the pool the other day, teens being sloppy dressed, showing their under garments off and their was woman in a thong and it all ran together in my head.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:33 PM on October 8, 2003


DG I totally concur.

I was in Paris the other day and actually took a photo of a sloggi poster in the Latin Quarter because it seemed like a good example of the French/European advertising industry's unabashed (ab)use of the female form. Err... uh... yeah. That's exactly why I took the photo. (oh and for some reason this thread reminded me of this Sony ad [mpg])
posted by shoepal at 4:45 PM on October 8, 2003


Prostitutes look that good? And they wear g-strings in public in france?

I wish I had bothered to learn french in high school now.
posted by shepd at 4:51 PM on October 8, 2003


"...some of the ad creative in question."

When did "creative" become a noun?
posted by majick at 5:02 PM on October 8, 2003


"When did "creative" become a noun?"

Try to keep up. It's been this way for decades. If you work in an ad agency you'll hear it 50 times a day.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:31 PM on October 8, 2003


These images are just as revealing as the ones Aubade (another French underwear maker) was putting up everywhere in the Metro 10 years ago. The difference is that the Aubade ones had ad copy that extolled the power that a woman gets from her sexuality -- the classic French idea of femininity. I'm not sure if it's the times that have changed or if the problem is that the Sloggi ads don't put women in a controlling role.
posted by fuzz at 5:33 PM on October 8, 2003


The thongs aren't the offensive part of their advertising. It's the men's underwear ads, where the guys obviously have a kolbasa and two coconuts stuffed down their shorts. My god, you'd think it was a third bicep!
posted by five fresh fish at 5:53 PM on October 8, 2003


call me liberal or a horndog, but these ads are so non-provocative for me, i'd more than likely ignore them if seen in a public setting. i know where to go for t&a. sure, it might catch my eye for a second, but i certainly wouldn't be screaming about them being inappropriate. i've been to times square, after all.
posted by oog at 5:55 PM on October 8, 2003


fff, what generously endowed male doesn't have a kolbasa and two coconut sized appendages in their shorts? biceps have nothing to do with this! :)
posted by poopy at 6:03 PM on October 8, 2003


but they're French!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:30 PM on October 8, 2003


Thongs aren't offensive advertising; broken self-resizing Flash detect windows are.
posted by nicwolff at 7:35 PM on October 8, 2003


fivefreshfish, after checking in the mirror, those guys don't seem all that well endowed to me. YMMV, of course ;-)
posted by dg at 7:49 PM on October 8, 2003


fff, Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?
posted by poopy at 7:50 PM on October 8, 2003


I find people in polyester plaid clothing that's too small for their massive girth offensive. Maybe we should subpoena Wal-Mart.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:11 PM on October 8, 2003


Ummm, all I get is a blue screen that says "be yourself--be patient" then nothing.
posted by AstroGuy at 10:50 PM on October 8, 2003


Try to keep up. It's been this way for decades. If you work in an ad agency you'll hear it 50 times a day.

I second this motion. In fact, I was showing off some killer creative to a client just the other day. Took the results back to the Creative Director and he gathered a meeting of the creatives to go over the creative brief one more time.

Ah... admavertising.
posted by damclean2 at 10:55 PM on October 8, 2003


the little white ball is fun!
posted by magikeye at 12:40 AM on October 9, 2003


Re: Creative as noun.

People who need to use creative as a noun should be encouraged to do so. It allows easy identification of those who need to be clubbed to death in the street like the dogs that they are.

Example (from y6y6y6's first link): 'NOUNcreative is a San Diego based graphic design boutique...' C'mon! If you're going to have something as stupid as the death penalty in CA, at least use it constructively!

Bill Hicks said it all...
posted by i_cola at 2:27 AM on October 9, 2003


poopy: fff, Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

Only with swallows.
posted by Dick Paris at 2:28 AM on October 9, 2003


It would have to be an African coconut though.
posted by walrus at 2:52 AM on October 9, 2003


What dobbs said ... only the opposite.
posted by MintSauce at 3:39 AM on October 9, 2003


French and Italians are alike then: here in Italy Roberta is showing a similar billboard advertising, and no signs of criticism: aren't we getting too politically correct?
Are women really getting a complex? Haven't we realized yet the real world is quite different from the one of advertising? If not, we deserve whatever puritan narrowminded regulation a government can come up with.


posted by pecus at 5:47 AM on October 9, 2003


I'd say that people who want to regulate the dress (or lack thereof) of others are seldom happy, well-adjusted persons with the best of mankind in mind. They should be treated with mistrust.

Unless of course, we're talking about polyester leisure suits, trucker caps, and "rave wear." In which case, regulate away.
posted by jonmc at 6:15 AM on October 9, 2003


I apologize for the use of the whole "creative as a noun" thing. Spent a couple of (very nasty) years in the ad biz a few years back, and somehow this bit of jargon snuck into my vernacular.
posted by psmealey at 6:17 AM on October 9, 2003


Bill Hicks said it all...posted by i_cola

Amen, my brother. For those of you unfamiliar with the prophet of existentialism, the exact quote is:

"By the way, if anyone here is in advertising or marketing, kill yourself. No, this is not a joke: kill yourself . . . I know what the marketing people are thinking now too: 'Oh. He's going for that anti-marketing dollar. That's a good market.' Oh man, I am not doing that, you fucking evil scumbags."
posted by dejah420 at 7:25 AM on October 9, 2003


I'm in the adbiz right now and have never seen "creative" used like that. It's what we call them art directors and copywriters and designers who churn the creative work out around here.

Bill Hicks is migty funny. He is, buy his CDs. You won't regret it. I adore him but won't be killing myself anytime soon. ;)

As far as the Sloggi ads, they are the lamest thing around.
posted by dabitch at 7:53 AM on October 9, 2003


walrus, fff, poopy: (python)

He could grip it by the husk!
posted by leapfrog at 8:45 AM on October 9, 2003


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