A controversial advertisement depicting a woman tied to train tracks that created a stir in France was deemed legal by a local court. The French court ruled that posters do not promote violence against women, reported BBC News. The ad in question was created by the southern town of Beziers in December 2017 and designed to celebrate the arrival of the high-speed TGV trains in the area. A court in Montpellier said the poster did not promote violence against women in spite of its “doubtful” and “provocative” humour, local paper 20 Minutes reported.
“With the TGV, she would have suffered less,” the caption of the advertisement said. The poster sparked outrage and French Equality Minister and several feminist groups questioned how anyone found it funny or tasteful.
Many criticising the ad drew parallels with the recent murder of a woman on the TGV tracks. According to ABC News, a 34-year-old woman named Emilie Hallouin was tied to the TGV tracks by her husband and was run over by the train in northern France. The poster was put up just four months after the death and many felt it had a link with the case.
The town’s far-right Mayor, Robert Menard, had defended the advert following the uproar, accusing critics of political correctness. Taking to Twitter, he asked: “Should we ban thousands of examples of ‘feminicide’ in cinema, cartoons and music clips?” and shared images of other instances where such images were used in popular culture.
Faut-il interdire les milliers d’apologies du “féminicide” dans le cinéma, les dessins animés, les clips musicaux @MarleneSchiappa ? #LePolitiquementCorrectRendFou #Béziers #LGVOccitanieOui pic.twitter.com/AOIUQQhCEY
— Robert Ménard (@RobertMenardFR) December 12, 2017
After the court’s ruling, people are shocked and appalled.
A controversial poster depicting a woman tied to train tracks did not promote anti-female violence, a French court has ruled.
To mark the arrival of high-speed TGV trains in Beziers last December, the posters were put up around the town With the TGV, she would have suffered less pic.twitter.com/XDeNBbCPus
— James E Daspit (@treasurecolecto) November 22, 2018
THE CAPTION IS LITERALLY ‘with the TGV, she would have suffered less’. A woman DIED this way, four months earlier in a murder-suicide by her estranged husband! I hope her spirit haunts the creators, promoters & defenders of this ad to the point of insanity and beyond. https://t.co/miCKyXrqbE
— Missy Deyo (@MissyDeyo) November 23, 2018
Going to court to advocate ban of this ad is waste of time.
But surely I will think twice before taking any TGV train because of their sick mentality. Their feelings & human values certainly questionable.
— Santanu (@Santanus2015) November 23, 2018
Jesus. I mean, if it was an ad for something completely unrelated that happened to use that hoary old movie cliche imagery, you could almost understand it (while being incredibly misjudged). But no, the premise of the ad is literally “woman getting hit by the TGV”. Awful. https://t.co/jnUhAy7M01
— Seb Patrick (@sebpatrick) November 22, 2018
This isn’t bad creative; it’s lazy creative.
The posters are for the arrival of high-speed TGV trains with the caption: “With the TGV, she would have suffered less.”
They were launched after Emilie Hallouin died from being tied to TGV tracks by her husband & was hit by a train https://t.co/ebqhj6mx8f
— Kit Kansas (@kit_kansas) November 21, 2018
— Rajen Devadason (@rajendevadason) November 21, 2018
No.Words. Remember being shocked by some French ads in the 90s but that was not long after a degree with a heavily feminist slant. Given events earlier this year, this is even more upsetting. BBC News – Béziers poster: French court clears controversial ad https://t.co/KjkW6MnWW7
— Noisette (@the4ts) November 21, 2018
I don’t see humour in this ad. I see a suffering human being. It is painful to watch. I don’t understand why someone would want to associate their brand with this.
— Nancy Akullo (@nancy_akullo) November 21, 2018
I honestly don’t get it. Not only is the ad repugnant, but it seems to imply she would have suffered less if it was the TGV… but it WAS the TGV?
What the hell france? What am I missing? No one gets your weird humor.
— Andrew Wade (@storiesandpages) November 22, 2018
#TGV @BBCWorld What a sadistic creative! Please replace the model of the ad with the person whose thought was behind it. Let the person who created it feel the brunt and be directly addressed for the cheap mentality. https://t.co/UW6y8rLNK1
— Viveksheel (@Vivek_Sheel_12) November 23, 2018
“Béziers train poster: Fr court clears controversial ad”
Sickening. Just sickening..
Launched 4 mos after 34yo mother of 4 Emilie Hallouin was tied to tracks by her husband, killed by train “she wld’ve suffered less if it’d been a TGV.”#BoycottBéziershttps://t.co/1dfpUJh6dm pic.twitter.com/5GrrdLy7xH
— Gina InTheBurg (@GinaInTheBurg) November 21, 2018