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
The first snag arose when the commercial was submitted to the Bureau
pour le Verification de la Publicite - France’s equivalent of the BACC -
’Non,’ said the watchdogs, who would not sanction scenes of
Champagne-sipping guests when their rules banned shots showing alcohol
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
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
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