Paris bans sexist, discriminatory & homophobic ads on billboards

Paris bans ads

The the assembly responsible for governing Paris, the Council of Paris have voted for a new contract covering outdoor advertising in the French capital. The new contract, which starts on November 20, 2017, includes a ban on any “sexist and discriminatory” ads appearing in public areas within the city. The ruling also includes any images deemed to defame anyone of specific ethnicity, nationality, religion, sex or age city. The ban was proposed by the Department for Equality between Women and Men and the Fight Against Discrimination, and will be enforced by JCDecaux, who won the contract to manage the cities advertising systems and billboards.

“After London and Geneva, which already put in place similar measures, Paris is showing the way by taking all possible actions to prevent the distribution and promotion of images degrading to certain categories of citizens.” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a statement.

The ads will look to ban anything considered:

  • Sexist stereotypes
  • Homophobic images
  • Any degrading, dehumanizing, or offensive representations of women and men
  • Ethnic discrimination
  • Discrimination of nationalities
  • Religious discrimination
  • Ageist images
  • Images that adversely affect human dignity

During Paris Fashion Week, The ciies outdoor advertising sites received more than 200 complaints over a series of “porno chic” ads from fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent. The French advertising watchdog, Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité, made the fashion brand take down its ads. France’s advertising authority said the brand “uncontestably breached” its standards by launching the campaign, which also features a model in a leotard and roller skate stilettos bending over a stool.

Adage reported that Stéphane Martin, the director of the French advertising watchdog Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité, said via email that the campaign “seriously contravenes” the advertising codes relating to “respect for decency, dignity and those prohibiting submission, violence or dependence, as well as the use of stereotypes.”

The watchdog also suggested the campaign could be breaking rules around causing “mental harm to adolescents.”

This is a good step from Paris, following suit from other European cities in trying to make for a more inclusive advertising space.


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