News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Friday December 15th 2017

Cape Town is now in France, apparently

The beach advertised in this billboard appearing in London is actually in Cape Town. The error was spotted by former Llandudno local Bradford Bird. Photo: Bradford Bird

Billboards displayed in London Underground stations advertising cheap travel to the French north coast have left a UK creative agency red-faced when it was discovered the beach pictured, was actually Llandudno in Cape Town.

The billboard poster produced for the French tourism authority, Atout France, shows a family running along a beach under the headline ‘Sprint finish on the Northern France Coast’.

The distinctive rocks on the spur of land in the background, however, unequivocally identify the beach as Llandudno.

The faux-pas was spotted by former Llandudno local, Bradford Bird, who now works in London as a photographer.

Bird took a photograph of the billboard and posted it on his Facebook page with the question ‘Anything wrong with this ad??’

He said when he looked at the billboard photograph “there was something uncannily familiar about it, and then I noticed the rocks in the background”.

He said the billboards offering cheap fares to France were “all over the London Tube”.

“It’s damn cheeky of them,” he said.

The Llandudno shot depicting the French north coast, as well as another photo taken on Llandudno advertising the French Mediterranean coast, also appear on the French tourism website www.gotofrancenow.com, although the original north coast photo has this week been replaced.

Managing Director of UK-based The Line Agency responsible for the advert, Steve Turton, was highly apologetic.

“It’s a genuine, absolute mistake,” he said.

Turton said the agency searched through over 3 000 stock photographs under the search header “northern France”, until they found an image that fitted the copy.

“I don’t know why the people in Brittany did not say ‘that’s not Brittany’. The French are jumping up and down screaming at me, this has taken ten years off my life.”

He said as soon as the error was brought to his attention he approached the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK and informed them.

“We assured them that we will be replacing the pictures. They are perfectly happy with this action as a resolution to the problem. They have not received any complaints from the public themselves. If they do so they will pass on our assurances,” said Turton.

He said the campaign in the London Underground was only running for “a brief period” and was in fact coming to an end this week but the photographs on the website would be changed as soon as a replacement picture was found.

SA Tourism spokesperson Jermaine Craig said it was “difficult to ascertain the origin or location of the imagery” and they had “no intention of taking any formal action on this matter”. – Steve Kretzmann

Tags: Advertising Standards Authority, Atout France, Bradford Bird, French north coast, Jermaine Craig, Llandudno, London Underground stations, Steve Turton, The Line Agency, www.gotofrancenow.com

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2 Responses to “Cape Town is now in France, apparently”

  1. nawhaal says:

    ADTECH AD alert – load your house ads

  2. This is hilarious! Well I guess it just shows what natural beauty we have in Cape Town.

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