Advertising | AIDS/HIV | France | News

French Watchdogs Censor AIDS Prevention Advertisement


French activist groups are charging that the nation's Advertising Standards Authority is discriminating after they reportedly banned an advertisment advocating AIDS prevention for being too explicit.

The ad, which urges men to use protection warns that each day in France, four gay men discover they are HIV positive.

According to eitb24, activist groups accuse the watchdog agency of having a double standard: "French organizations devoted to the fight against AIDS such as Act Up Paris criticized on Wednesday that advertising is judged depending on whether its characters are gays or heterosexuals. 'This kind of measures are not taken when the protagonists are heterosexuals. It is an insult to the gay community', a spokesman for the Act Up Paris organization said. The French organization called for the campaign to be broadcast in gay media as well as in the rest of the media and asked France's Health Ministry to condemn the Advertising Standards Authority's veto."

See the full ad, AFTER THE JUMP (possibly NSFW)...


NYC Releases Sobering Report on Young Gay Men and HIV [tr]

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Instead of getting all amped up about pushing limits of taste in an advertisement, how about actually focusing on stopping HIV in the gay community. As we learned in today's NYT, gay guys continue to harm themselves and society. Debates over French ads don't solve the problem. Just another excuse to check out another hot pic on the web and move on. Shallowness masquerading as concern - typical for this blog.

    Posted by: Please | Jan 2, 2008 2:20:33 PM

  2. Please | Jan 2, 2008 2:20:33 PM :

    you are so full of crap. oh, pulleeze.

    Posted by: nic | Jan 2, 2008 2:29:53 PM

  3. I don't get it... they show more on daytime soaps in the U.S. That red bit lamp/decoration is really cool though - where can I get one?!?

    Posted by: David B | Jan 2, 2008 2:50:28 PM

  4. so why do you read this blog? would you come here if every post was a treatise begging gay men to have safer sex? would most of the intended audience come here to read someone's daily opinions about hiv transmission? i believe the average towleroad reader is educated and is fully aware of his options for safer sex. they may not make the same decisions that you or i would, but they are educated. they are looking for news relating to the gay community, not opinion pieces about the AIDS exchange.

    Posted by: shaun | Jan 2, 2008 2:54:20 PM

  5. There's something about two French guys getting it on, that, for some reason, is really sexy. They don't look like two American twinks. Although, I can see where the full monty version above may focus too much on the pornography angle rather than the cropped "torso only" version does. I don't know what's the norm for French advertising, but the message gets across just fine without the full body shot. Are so Pavlovian that we can only focus on a message with full body shots?

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Jan 2, 2008 4:38:58 PM

  6. Kudos to you, Evan on your passion. Towleroad is a terrific blog that gladly accepts the comments of naysayers and negabobs. The silly is posted with the sublime so that I get the news and the best of sites like PINK IS THE NEW BLOG because dammit I am a serious gay who wants to have fun!

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 2, 2008 7:11:57 PM

  7. I think the most clever think about the ad is that the lamp in the background looks like a big ole HIV virus...
    peut-être c'est le point...

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 2, 2008 7:24:21 PM

  8. I think the most clever think about the ad is that the lamp in the background looks like a big ole HIV virus...
    peut-être c'est le point...

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 2, 2008 7:25:47 PM


    Posted by: alan brickman | Jan 2, 2008 7:31:31 PM

  10. I've seen more skin in cologne ads. I smell poisson.

    Posted by: James | Jan 3, 2008 5:07:35 AM

  11. Evan, i think you may have misunderstood my post. I was asking "Please" to consider the target audience of this blog and the entertainment value of a blog that was "actually focusing on stopping HIV in the gay community". as i said, the people who come here "are looking for news relating to the gay community, not opinion pieces about the AIDS exchange."

    Posted by: Shaun | Jan 3, 2008 2:11:48 PM

  12. Evan, I just noticed the "queeny bitching" thing, and i have to say, way to internalize that homophobia. As pissed as I was at "Please" for riding his soapbox, I would never have made a comment aimed at making him feel bad for his culture or sexuality.

    Posted by: shaun | Jan 3, 2008 2:17:07 PM

  13. A couple of thoughts — we need to address gay men’s health needs holistically, and not defer to HIV/AIDS, as if that is the only health issue that matters.

    I believe that treating ourselves as whole human beings, with plenty of complexities above the navel, will bring about better health outcomes for all that concerns us, including but not limited to HIV infecton.

    Two - why are we as gay men seemingly satisfied with one way to protect ourselves during sex? Why do we think “use a condom every time” is enough?

    How would you feel if you went into Starbucks and you had one choice - coffee. Period. Just plain, old coffee. Would we have people screaming in the streets?

    Well, we need more options to protect ourselves. How about rectal microbicides? See for more info on this new prevention technology, which is currently in the research and development phase.

    Okay, and three. We can’t divorce societal and structural issues that put some of us at greater risk than others. It isn’t always about simply using a condom - it is also about homophobia, stigma, poverty, homelessness, substance use/abuse, mental and emotional health, loneliness, hunger, lack of access to health care, lack of insurance, etc….

    It will never be enough to simply address HIV/AIDS among gay men by focusing on the area between the navel and the knee. And we need to move away from histrionics and fear/judgement/moralizing tactics which, in fact, don't work.

    Jim Pickett


    Posted by: Jim Pickett | Jan 3, 2008 8:39:13 PM

Post a comment


« «Connecticut Man Shot to Death By Christmas Eve "Internet Date"« «