La Redoute shows naked man in beachwear publicity stunt

La Redoute shows naked man in beachwear publicity stunt

Summary: Fashion retailer La Redoute has apologised over an image of a naked man behind a group of children advertising beachwear. Was it a cynical PR stunt or a genuine error?

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French fashion retailer La Redoute has apologised over an image of a naked man behind a group of children advertising beachwear.

Zoom in to the image and you'll see a totally naked man emerging from the sea.

The image has been removed from the web site, but the advertisement for children's T-shirts has been captured on YouTube.

La Redoute, the largest mail order company in France published an apology to avoid further fall out.

"La Redoute apologizes for the photo published on its site and is taking steps to remove it. We have opted to delete all the posts including this picture.

"We are aware that it may offend the sensibilities of surfers. We will strengthen the validation process of all brand communications so this can not happen again in the future."

Competitive opportunity

However, the faux pas has given 3 Suisses, La Redoute's competitor, the opportunity to have a joke at La Redoute's expense. 3 Suisses modified the original image, dressing the man in one of their items of beachwear. The tongue in cheek caption reads:

"Obviously everyone does not know that we have swimsuits from €9.99"

Others have poked fun at the image using Photoshop to add the man to other images on the web. Parody images show the man in the sea with President Sarkozy. He has also appeared with other leaders.

Cynics might think that the image went through all photographic and PR checks and was intended to be published like this but La Redoute disagrees. Emmanuelle Picard-Deyme said that 'an inquiry had been launched to determine how the mistake happened'.

Marketing ploy?

It is fairly obvious that there is someone else in the background of the photo. Was the extra flesh left in the image as a PR stunt or was it a genuine error? Did someone forget to Photoshop the image out?

This could have been an intentional tactic to get more page views. Images of naked people, reflected in shiny objects such as kettles, mirrors and doors used to appear from time to time on auction web sites. These 'Reflectoporn' images became viral and were forwarded widely.

Perhaps the man in the background was not even noticed by the editing team. France tends to have a relaxed attitude to nudity. Perhaps no one actually saw the extra person in the background.

Whatever the error, it's certainly useful publicity for the online retailer. True to its 'everything is allowed' advertising campaign it may have been a deliberate ploy to drive brand awareness and reach.

With the buzz generated on Twitter and Facebook, it certainly seems to have worked.

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3 comments
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  • Any publicity is good publicity

    "Mais oui!" as those overly indulgent French fries like to say. But some totally naked dude, emerging from the sea dans le buff (or was it a la nue, in little more than an open trench coat)? And what about the children, think of the children. How sad.<br><br>I suppose it's time for the Krauts to get back in there and clean a little house. [Hasn't it been over 25 years already?]
    klumper
    • RE: La Redoute shows naked man in beachwear publicity stunt

      @klumper <br><br>The proper French colloquialism would be: "A poil" or "Tout nu". Please google for translation.<br><br>[i]~~~~~~~~~~<br><a href="http://spkfrnch.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/chez-les-papous/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://spkfrnch.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/chez-les-papous/</a><br>Chez les papous, ya des papous poux, et des papous pas poux Mais chez les papous, ya des papous papas et des papous pas papas Donc chez les papous, ya des papous papas poux, des papous papas pas poux des papous pas papas poux et des papous pas papas pas poux Mais chez les poux, ya des poux papas et des poux pas papas Donc chez les papous, ya des papous papas poux papas, des papous papas poux pas papas, des papous pas papas poux papas et des papous pas papas poux pas papas.

      And since you talk about sauerkraut (I suppose?)

      http://ashvital.freeservers.com/ze_dream.htm
      Ze drem vil finali kum tru.

      The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility.

      As part of the negotiations, the British government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

      In the first year, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c". Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard "c" will be replaced with "k". Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

      There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced by "f". This will make words like "fotograf" 20 per sent shorter.

      In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent "e"s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

      By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" by z" and "w" by " v".

      During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou", and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

      After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.

      Ze drem vil finali kum tru[/i]
      WinTard
      • I prefer my somewhat limited pig latin

        @WinTard <br><br>comme dans vieux vicelard, vieux cochon, vieux keum ptdr <br><br>The French should never have adopted the old world (Roman) tongue, and this after their Goth brothers had long sacked the ancient capital, thereby creating a permanent rift by introducing vulgar Latin into the equation. <br><br>PS. And mais oui, the Euros might want to consider adding more sauerkraut and less quiche and kolatsio to their plates these days (a la sink or swim). ;)
        klumper