French tourism board in picture stealing hot water

by Alfie FEATHERSTONE on April 6, 2012

The same French tourism board which utilised a photo of a beach in South African in an attempt to lure British holidaymakers has again been caught out – this time for stealing a stock image that was originally taken in Florida.

Officials carelessly rushed in their bid to find a replacement advert to go with the campaign, which aims to entice UK tourists into crossing the Channel when the Olympic Games are being held and Britain will be overrun with foreign visitors. Rather than use a real picture of a French beach for the new poster,  one of Florida’s Clearwater Beach was used instead.

The double blunder will have caused blushes for the managing director of Atout France, Christian Mantej, who, before recent problems, boasted about the cleverness of the £600,000 advertising blitz before adding that Londoners especially would pick up on the campaign’s quirky nature then consider visiting France during the summer Olympics. “France, Come and Play” involves 23 different images in total, each of which are supposed to be a real photo of a different French while assisted by a Olympics-themed slogan. For example, a picture of a French woman flicking her hair while emerging from an azure comes with the caption “Backflip in Corsica”.

It was a South African based in London who recognised the beach that was used for one of the ads - which was meant to be promoting a destination in northern France - as Llandudno, a Cape Town suburb.

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