Famed for its cafe culture and Gauloises smoking inhabitants Paris has outlawed publicity images of Hollywood star Audrey Tautou playing style icon Coco Chanel - because she's shown smoking a cigarette.
In an extraordinary sign of the times, Paris' transport authority deemed the posters 'unhealthy and inappropriate'.
Despite smoking up to 50 cigarettes a day throughout her life, Chanel was 87 when she died in 1971.
Almost all the original photographs of the designer and images from the film show a cigarette in her right hand.
Yet RATP, which runs the buses and trains in the French capital, considered historical accuracy secondary to good health.
'Cigarettes are banned on our entire transport system, and there is no reason why we should be giving them free advertising through this film poster,' the company spokesman said.
It follows a similar ban on a poster of the legendary Gallic film maker Jacques Tati smoking a pipe which was replaced with a yellow windmill to conform to French rules prohibiting the promotion of tobacco products. Full story >>
1. Amazingly, the smoking ban introduced in France last year has been universally accepted—even if it has led to the closure of hundreds of small café-bars. The French don't mess about when it comes to advertising cigarettes and alchohol. Ads for alcoholic drinks are not allowed on TV. In Britain, on the other hand, some of the best ad campaigns have been for beer (Guinness, Carlsberg, Heineken, etc.).
2. What next? Sherlock Holmes without his pipe?
3. But is the film any good, you are asking? Well, Telerama liked it.