CAMPAIGN DIARY: French censors force Ferrero to add atomic tipple to that sequel

Just when you thought there was nothing funny left to say about Ferrero Rocher’s ’ambassador’s reception’ - arguably the worst commercial ever made - comes a tale to trump them all.

Just when you thought there was nothing funny left to say about

Ferrero Rocher’s ’ambassador’s reception’ - arguably the worst

commercial ever made - comes a tale to trump them all.



It happened when the Italian confectioner wanted to run the remake of

its famous film, in which high camp replaces irony, on French TV.



For the plot of this French farce, the Diary is indebted to Simon

Anholt, the founder and chairman of World Writers, who recounts it in

Another One Bites The Grass, his new book about the pitfalls of

international advertising.



The first snag arose when the commercial was submitted to the Bureau

pour le Verification de la Publicite - France’s equivalent of the BACC -

for approval.



’Non,’ said the watchdogs, who would not sanction scenes of

Champagne-sipping guests when their rules banned shots showing alcohol

being drunk.



Back in post-production, the Champagne was recoloured to look like

orange juice. Still the regulators wouldn’t budge. The orange colour was

so faint that the guests appeared to be drinking mimosas.



Yet another edit in which the drinks were coloured fluorescent

orange.



No joy. The BVP wouldn’t pass the film because the ’orange juice’ was

being drunk out of Champagne glasses.



Thoroughly pissed off by this fiasco, the production company now edited

out the long stem of each guest’s glass and the commercial was cleared

for airing.



So, Anholt says, if you ever catch the French cut of the ’ambassador’s

reception’, watch carefully. You’ll notice the guests appear to be

drinking day-glo orange nuclear effluent and, each time they put their

glasses down, they mysteriously float a couple of inches above the

table.