The pipe favored by one of French cinema's most enduring comic characters has fallen victim to advertisers who were worried about breaking an anti-smoking law…
Jacques Tati's Mr Hulot, whose pipe was as much a trademark as his hat and beige raincoat, is seen riding his Velosolex motor scooter in a poster advertising a retrospective at the Cinematheque de Paris.
But the pipe has been replaced by a small colored whirligig by Metrobus, the group that manages advertising on Paris public transport, because of fears the pipe could break a law forbidding it from "direct or indirect" tobacco and alcohol advertising.
Yes. The "whirligig" looks as ridiculous as the name suggests. And of course, leave it to the French to get all the best zingers:
The Liberation daily…[pointed] out that Mr Hulot is not wearing a helmet, is riding an old-fashioned, polluting vehicle and that the small boy riding behind him is not seated securely [in the advertisement].
Toda la situación es no pinche bueno. So much for Laissez Les Bon Temp Roulez.
Your minute of Tuesday happiness below:
Earlier this year, Associate Editor Damon W. Root noted the loss of smoking in The Watchmen movie. Senior Editor Jacob Sullum looked at the "absurd claims" of movie-obsessed, anti-smoking activists. He also wondered – in print – if advertising turns people into smokers.