jeudi 26 novembre 2009

Il n'y a pas de Gainsbourg sans fumée

This advertising poster/billboard for Joann Sfar's upcoming film about Serge Gainsbourg has been banned from the corridors of the Paris métro system (le RATP)because it appears to show Gainsbourg as he absolutely was in life: en train de fumer une clope. Among other things, the Loi Evin (named for Claude Evin, who was ministre de la santé when it was passed in 1991) places severe limitations on the use of cigarettes (and booze) in advertising.

Ceci n'est pas une clope

The funny thing is that the poster does not even feature a cigarette, a conscious decision that was made to comply with the law in question, according to the film's director in an interview with L'Express: "Nous avons créé cette affiche avec une équipe d'artistes et nous avons mis un point d'honneur à respecter les consignes sur le tabac. Dans l'affiche, ni cigarette, ni mégot ne sont visibles. Il y a juste de la fumée (...) Je trouve qu'interdire la fumée de sa clope c'est une façon d'infantiliser le public."

However, I'm not sure the director has correctly interpreted the law. In fact, it prohibits all direct or indirect advertising that promotes the use of tobacco. Where there is cigarette smoke, there is probably a cigarette.

Don't get me wrong. I think the non-smoking world has gone way overboard in its attempt to rid the world of the faintest hint of cigarettes. But I think the poster does violate French law as it currently stands. On verra bien!