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Racy ads for French movie about infidelity pulled

PARIS (AP) ― What does it take to shock in the land of the Gallic shrug? Ads that suggest adulterous oral sex, according to complaints about new movie “Les Infideles.’’

Posters for the film ― which show the contented male stars with faceless women in submissive positions ― went up Tuesday but were being taken down Friday following a request from France’s self-regulating advertising body.

In one poster, actor and comedian Jean Dujardin stands between a pair of upside-down bare female legs, clutching them. In another, the back of a woman’s head is waist high to actor Gilles Lellouche, who is on his cell phone. Her hands stretch up to his chest and a quotation over his head reads: “It’s going to cut off. I’m going into a tunnel.’’

“We could see that this campaign didn’t respect (the rules) with the sexually explicit positions, the play on words ... the boundaries were crossed,’’ said Stephane Martin, the head of the Authority of Professional Regulation of Advertising.
This undated handout photo provided by shows the movie poster for “Les Infideles.” (AP-Yonhap News)
This undated handout photo provided by shows the movie poster for “Les Infideles.” (AP-Yonhap News)

Some French newspapers have suggested the ads could even cost Dujardin ― nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the silent hit film “The Artist’’― the Oscar.

They at least appear to have hit a raw nerve in a land with fresh memories of the scandal of last year’s arrest of potential presidential contender Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges of attempted rape.

JC Decaux, the outdoor advertising company that hung the posters, conceded they weren’t in “good taste’’ and they would all be down by the end of the day.

They have been replaced by a third poster, where the male leads sit and laugh as two sexily clad women walk away.

“We already refused other visuals for this film that seemed unpublishable to us,’’ the company said in a statement ― without elaborating on what those images contained.

To some, the rumblings may indicate a post-Strauss-Kahn shift in French mores. When the former head of the International Monetary Fund was arrested last year in New York ― on charges later dropped ― it set off soul-searching in a country known as a beacon for the sexually liberated and for its acceptance of extramarital affairs.
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