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French advertisers have a laugh over President`s affair

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 09:35

Paris: As French President Francois Hollande wades through the fallout of revelations he has been having an affair with an actress, companies are looking to drum up business by having a laugh at his expense.

Hollande has had a rough two weeks both personally and politically since glossy magazine Closer published pictures of him hopping off the back of a motor scooter, his head clad in a large black helmet, for an apparent rendezvous with actress Julie Gayet at an apartment near the presidential palace.

While most French voters say the president`s love life is his own business, news of the affair has trended on social networks, prompting businesses to seek to tap in on the issue in their ads.
A car-hire company, Drive, ran a newspaper ad with a map tracing the route from the Elysee presidential palace to the apartment where Hollande`s tryst ocurred -- and pricing the trip at five euros.

"Unseen. Unknown. Private cars, tinted windows. At prices this low, you should choose discretion," it said.

Another rental car company, Sixt, made a similar crack in a newspaper insert telling Hollande: "Mr President, next time avoid the scooter. Sixt rents cars with tinted windows."

The company, which is headquartered in Germany, is known for picking on French presidents. It also had a go at Hollande`s diminutive predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, after he divorced his wife and married actress, singer and fashion model Carla Bruni.

"Do like Mrs Bruni and opt for a small French model," it told customers in a German ad.
Online dating site Be2 tapped into sympathy for Hollande`s partner Valerie Trierweiler, mocking a line from the president`s 2012 election campaign against Sarkozy.

"Dear Valerie, the time to change is now," it said on its homepage.
Virgin Radio for its part compared the president`s motorbike helmet to those worn by French electronic music duo Daft Punk.
"Mr President, we know you`re a fan. Daft Punk is on the Virgin Radio playlist," it said.

First Published: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 09:35

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