French tourism campaign uses wrong photo

29th Mar 2012
Written by: Mary Short

French tourism campaign uses wrong photo

There are epic fails and then there are epic fails. When it comes to promoting your own country, make sure it really is your own country.

French tourism bosses have spent more than £500,000 on an ad campaign to showcase the delights of northern France. However, there's just one problem – they used the wrong photo. They used a photo of a beach in South Africa as opposed to one of the place they were really trying to promote.

The ad campaign was to lure British and European travellers to Northern France during the Olympics with posters predominately used on the London Underground.

In an embarrassing mix-up, the advertising agency used an image of a beach in Cape Town for two of the 23 poster campaign.

Eagle-eyed London fashion photographer Bradford Bird, who grew up there, recognised the familiar outcrop of rocks.

Mr Bird told the Daily Mail: "I recognised the beach as soon as I saw it. I thought 'that's a little bit cheeky' and put a picture of the billboard up on my Facebook page."

Tourism officials have replaced the 'Northern France' image on their website, presumably with the right one.

The British advertising agency in charge of the campaign has taken responsibility for the incident, saying that images were selected from a bank of 3,000 stock photographs of French beaches.

I guess there's one thing to take away from this – when promoting a region make sure it's the right photo…

If the campaign's worked for you and you're thinking of going to France then make sure you read our France country section.

Here was the poster ad:

French campaign poster ad

And here's the photo of Llandudno Beach, just outside Cape Town:

Llandudno Beach, Cape Town

Can you spot the difference?

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