France expanding its sexy advertising campaign for Covid vaccines

A French vaccination advertising campaign that caused an international stir with its sexy message is to be expanded in an effort to persuade younger French people to get the Covid vaccine.

France expanding its sexy advertising campaign for Covid vaccines

The advertising campaign was dreamed up by regional health authorities in the southern Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur region and focuses on ‘desirable side effects’ of the vaccine.

In an attempt to address fears of vaccine side-effects, the series of four adverts uses the tagline ‘Yes, the vaccine can have desirable effects’ with images of people going on holiday, attending festivals and travelling.

READ ALSO IN PICTURES 7 of the French government’s sexiest public health adverts

But it was the fourth image in the series that really caught international attention, showing a couple who appear to be enjoying a hook-up.

Playing to French stereotypes as the land of lovers, it was widely shared on social media and several English-language news sources ran articles on it, including British newspaper The Independent, who titled their article ‘A very, very French vaccine advert’.

On social media, many others pointed out that in the US there are financial inducements to get the vaccine – such as lotteries – while British adverts focus on going to the pub again, in contrast to France’s saucier message.

“We have not stopped broadcasting messages explaining why we must protect ourselves and others with barrier gestures but also the vaccine,” explains Philippe de Mester, Director General of the PACA health authority which devised the campaign.

“But we realised that this rather institutional discourse, which is sometimes a bit guilt-inducing, had little impact.

“So we thought about another approach, asking ourselves how we could reach people differently.”

The campaign, which is intended to target younger people who might be hesitant to get the vaccine, will now be expanded from social media, with posters going up across the southern region.

“It looks like an advert for condoms,” one passer-by told French radio station FranceInfo as the billboards were erected on Thursday.

Member comments

  1. These adverts are a f##king disgrace. The choice of whether you’re going to have a covid injection or not, shouldn’t be glamorised like this.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Italy’s constitutional court upholds Covid vaccine mandate as fines kick in

Judges on Thursday dismissed legal challenges to Italy's vaccine mandate as "inadmissible” and “unfounded”, as 1.9 million people face fines for refusing the jab.

Italy's constitutional court upholds Covid vaccine mandate as fines kick in

Judges were asked this week to determine whether or not vaccine mandates introduced by the previous government during the pandemic – which applied to healthcare and school staff as well as over-50s – breached the fundamental rights set out by Italy’s constitution.

Italy became the first country in Europe to make it obligatory for healthcare workers to be vaccinated, ruling in 2021 that they must have the jab or be transferred to other roles or suspended without pay.

The Constitutional Court upheld the law in a ruling published on Thursday, saying it considered the government’s requirement for healthcare personnel to be vaccinated during the pandemic period neither unreasonable nor disproportionate.

Judges ruled other questions around the issue as inadmissible “for procedural reasons”, according to a court statement published on Thursday.

This was the first time the Italian Constitutional Court had ruled on the issue, after several regional courts previously dismissed challenges to the vaccine obligation on constitutional grounds.

A patient being administered a Covid jab.

Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP

One Lazio regional administrative court ruled in March 2022 that the question of constitutional compatibility was “manifestly unfounded”.

Such appeals usually centre on the question of whether the vaccine requirement can be justified in order to protect the ‘right to health’ as enshrined in the Italian Constitution.

READ ALSO: Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Meanwhile, fines kicked in from Thursday, December 1st, for almost two million people in Italy who were required to get vaccinated under the mandate but refused.

This includes teachers, law enforcement and healthcare workers, and the over 50s, who face fines of 100 euros each under rules introduced in 2021.

Thursday was the deadline to justify non-compliance with the vaccination mandate due to health reasons, such as having contracted Covid during that period.

Italy’s health minister on Friday however appeared to suggest that the new government may choose not to enforce the fines.

“It could cost more for the state to collect the fines” than the resulting income, Health Minister Orazio Schillaci told Radio Rai 1.

He went on to say that it was a matter for the Economy and Finance Ministry, but suggested that the government was drawing up an amendment to the existing law.

READ ALSO: Covid vaccines halved Italy’s death toll, study finds

The League, one of the parties which comprises the new hard-right government, is pushing for fines for over-50s to be postponed until June 30th 2023.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni had promised a clear break with her predecessor’s health policies, after her Brothers of Italy party railed against the way Mario Draghi’s government handled the pandemic in 2021 when it was in opposition.

At the end of October, shortly after taking office, the new government allowed doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to return to work earlier than planned after being suspended for refusing the Covid vaccine.

There has been uncertainty about the new government’s stance after the deputy health minister in November cast doubt on the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines, saying he was “not for or against” vaccination.

Italy’s health ministry continues to advise people in at-risk groups to get a booster jab this winter, and this week stressed in social media posts that vaccination against Covid-19 and seasonal flu remained “the most effective way to protect ourselves and our loved ones, especially the elderly and frail”.