French ad authority bans e-bike commercial because it "discredits the automobile sector"

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/07/02/france-bans-bicycle-commercial.html

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The malign spirit of Robert Moses lives on throughout the world. “Discredit the automobile sector”? Declare a “war on the car?” Go for it.

[also, that’s one snazzy looking bike]

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Aren’t their ads that discredit the tobacco industry?

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Seems like a great ad to me, and the automobile sector has thoroughly discredited itself.

[I don’t care for the looks of that bike, though]

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If I am VanMoof, I am taking the ARPP to court.

I’m not sure the same logic could be applied in Canada (where I am from) or in the US. However, I know that I’ve seen ads that play up the unhealthy aspects of fast food to sell salads.

Also, truth in advertising.

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If i am vanmoof, i just hope the ARPP keeps doing what is doing to streissand the ad to a wider audince for free.

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Regulatory capture at its finest.

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The same automobile sector that the French government owns a big stake in?

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In the US, tv stations refused to carry ads discouraging people from buying cars because they were “political.”

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[also, that’s one snazzy looking bike]
Indeed but €2.000! Still probably worth it.

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In the US, Oprah Winfrey got hauled into court for dissing beef. She was accused of violating a texas law about making false statements about food safety. She was exonerated by the jury.

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The French have never been considered rational. For that matter, how many French cars are sold in the USA each year?

These days? Fewer than this baby (bebe?):

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Is there some sort of requirement that French advertising be cheerful and anodyne; or is the the ARPP allowed to just make things up ad-hoc?

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Lots. They own roughly half of Nissan.
This is seriously stupid on their part; the biggest bicycle race in the world, the Tour de France, is a huge moneymaker for the French economy in every non-COVID-19 year.

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Well, they did give Saint Barb the Legion of Honor, so… :man_shrugging:

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This is actually a cunning ploy by the French authorities to bypass state aid rules and support low carbon businesses, whilst the car industry thinks they’re the one being supported. Classic Macron.

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That’s rather cheap, actually.

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The situation is a bit weirder here- France has two organisations that regulate advertising. The ARPP, which is involved here, is a private organisation of advertising producers. Ads are submitted to the ARPP prior to broadcast, and the ARPP advises the producer on whether the ad is likely to infringe the law.

However, all it can do is advise. The ARPP has no power to ban an ad, or even to sanction members that go against its advice.

Once an ad is broadcast, it becomes the province of the CSA, which is a government group that can ban ads.

Plus, of course, Van Moof have just got a whole lot of free views for their ad because of the controversy. Ford did this a lot- there were the ‘‘evil twin’’ ads for the SportKa in the UK, and one in India that showed scantily-clad women tied up in the trunk of one of their cars.

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In France the Cows go, “Shamooo!”, and the Bikes go, “VanMoof!”

Jean-Paul Sartre, Michel Foucault, René Descartes, Jacques Derrida, Simone de Beauvoir, Gilles Deleuze, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Henri Bergson, Voltaire, Albert Camus, Luce Irigaray, etc. However, Jerry Lewis was very popular over there, so maybe you have a point.

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