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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
Image: ARS PACA

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.

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France's health authority said Tuesday it had approved three new vaccines against the prevalent Omicron sub-variants of the Covid-19 virus, in a bid to prevent a jump in infections as colder weather approaches.

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The so-called “bivalent: shots, approved by the European Medicines Agency earlier this month, target the BA.1, BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants, now responsible for the bulk of new cases since the outbreak began worldwide in early 2020.

French authorities are urging at-risk patients — including those over 60 or adults with pre-existing conditions — to get the bivalent vaccines as part of its booster campaign.

“The number of infections has again started rising in the past few days,” the HAS health authority said, noting that the BA.5 sub-variant was causing the most new cases.

The new vaccine targeting the highly contagious BA.4 and BA.5 types is made by Pfizer and BioNTech, while jabs from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are for BA.1.

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