LE PARISIEN, LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR, LE FIGARO (France)

PARIS - Parisians strolling along the chic Place de l’Alma and the Bastille are running straight into a huge new billboard (3 by 6-meter, or almost 10 by 20-feet) featuring saucy photos of four presidents of France: François Hollande, the current head of state, and predecessors Nicolas Sarkozy, Jacques Chirac and François Mitterrand. Each of their faces has a large lipstick print.

Underneath, the ad says, “What do they have in common?” and declares that the men would have been better off using Ashley Madison, a Canada-based website for discreet adulterous encounters, for their supposedly famous extramarital affairs.

The ad is “totally illegal,” says a lawyer interviewed by French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, because in France you are not allowed to use anyone’s image without their agreement, except in the case of the public’s right to information.

The ad, according to Le Parisien daily, was turned down “everywhere.” The company did not receive the requisite permission from the city to put up the ads, either, reports Le Figaro, but Noel Biderman, the founder, simply believes the old advertising adage, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

Le Parisien quoted the company’s local spokesman as saying, “I think it will just make them laugh…There’s a culture of infidelity in France.”

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Ideas

Biden's Democracy Summit: The Sad Truth About The Invitation List

Can the countries the United States have invited to an exclusive summit on democracy safeguard and spread a system that is inherently flawed and fragile?

The U.S. invited Taiwan to take part to the Summit for Democracy

Marcos Peckel

-OpEd-

BOGOTÁ — Don't expect much from the Summit for Democracy, summoned by the U.S. President Joe Biden.

Slated later this week, it follows other initiatives to defend and promote democracy worldwide, and will convene by video remote the representatives of 110 invited countries, which the U.S. State Department considers democracies.

Its three stated objectives are: defense against authoritarianism, fighting corruption and promoting respect for human rights.

The first controversy around the gathering emerged from the guest list, which includes some of the United States' chief regional allies.

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