The commercial for the 11 Football Club store shows an apparently naked woman kneeling in front of a male customer while she asks him if he is happy.
As the ad ends, we see he is trying on shoes. The endline says the company “loves taking care of its clients.”
The ad has successfully achieved publicity for the store, but has also caused anger for some.
“This type of advertising really worries me,” said Auréline Cardoso, a member of anti-sexism and anti-homophobia group CRASH (Collectif Radical Anti-Sexisme et Homophobie).
“We can’t keep laughing about sexism and the macho culture when we know a woman is raped every five hours in France,” she told daily newspaper 20 Minutes.
“If it had been a black person in the place of the woman, I don’t think everyone would be laughing at this.”
The owner of the company, Benoît Defois, claimed the ad was just “a bit of fun, nothing more.”
“The message of the ad isn’t to denigrate women but to say we take care of our clients.”
He said he was thinking of having a follow-up ad showing a man on his knees in front of a woman.
The row follows another advertising controversy over posters for a new film starring Oscar-tipped French actor Jean Dujardin.
The posters for the film “Les Infidèles” (The Players) showed Dujardin and his co-star in suggestive poses with unidentified women.
They were taken down within days, amid fears that the posters could even harm the Oscar chances of Dujardin for his role in “The Artist”.
Judge for yourself what you think of this latest controversial ad….