There has been a feminist outcry on the streets of Paris over imagery that was dubbed 'porno chic'. The city council of Paris decided to ban the imagery in a vote and the city's Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, said that Paris was an international leader that was 'leading the way' in the fight against sexism. She added the move was "an important measure in bringing to a public space the daily fight against stereotypes and against violence towards women".
Amongst the advertisements was an image from the latest Yves Saint Laurent campaign. People have conmplained that the images incite rape and are degrading the models. One of the images displays a woman in a fur coat and fishnet tights whilst reclining and opening her legs slightly. Another image has a woman piosing in a leotard whilst bending over a stool. A French Communist Party councillor, Hélène Bidard, tweeted that 'Victory in the Paris Council. @JCDecaux_France agrees not to disseminate sexist, discriminatory, LGBT phobic ads in Paris.'
This decision will have an impact on any future advertisements in Paris. Advertisers will now have to ensure that no advertising of a sexist of discriminatory nature can be broadcast on the municipal display network. This means that you won't see any sexist ads on the billboards run by the town hall, which can be found throughout Paris.
Many people question if these images are pushing the boundaries of creative expression to far. Art directors demand visually appealing content and images that catch the attention of the general public and it would appear that one of the easiest ways to drum up this attention would be sex appeal.
The large French company that owns the billboards , JCDecaux, will be allowed to decide which images it deems inappropriate or those that have stepped the mark. Its director Stephane Martin said the brand seemed to have 'incontestably breached' the rules. 'I am not sure that (Yves Saint Laurent's) female clients would like to be associated with these images,'.
This isn't the first time that advertisements have caused controversy in Paris. In 2012, Parisians were angered over risqué film posters that had actors in suggestive poses. One of the posters said "it's going to cut out, I'm just entering a tunnel," with an image of a woman on her knees in front of