Asterix doing ads for McDonald's binge sparks Gallic outcry

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stephane dumas

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Apr 23, 2006
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I don't know if it would fit the General Animation discussion or the Entertainment section, sorry for the inconvience :sad: I spotted this article from Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE67H2LP20100818

It don't bother me it all in my case. Here in Quebec, in the late 1980s-early 1990s, Coca-cola used Obelix, one of the characters appearing in the Asterix comics and cartoons to promote Diet-Coke.

(Reuters) - A new McDonald's ad featuring Gallic champion Asterix enjoying a burger and fries has sparked outrage among French comic purists who see it as an insult to their national heritage.
The billboard shows the fearless Gaul and friends celebrating their traditional banquet at the fast-food chain -- with Cacofonix the bard tied to a tree outside as usual.

"My childhood hero sacrificed like a wild boar! What next? Tintin eating at Subway?" said one horrified blogger called sirchmallow.

"How ironic, the indomitable Gauls making an advert for the invaders," was another outraged comment on Twitter.

The ad is of three designed by advertising agency Euro RSCG for McDonald's' "Come as you are" campaign.

The others feature Cinderella pulling into a McDrive on a pumpkin, and the Ghostface character from the film "Scream" tucking into a Big Mac.

McDonald's has frequently been the focus of anti-American sentiment in France and is seen by many to symbolize the threat to French culture and cuisine posed by globalization and homogenized junk food.
 

Tobias

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Sep 17, 2002
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I saw one of McD's 'Come as you are' commercials on the site that shall not be named, the one with the gay teen and his father having lunch. I wish the U.S. would grow a pair and start airing those type of commercials.
 

Pepperidge

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What are the French constantly obsessed with the idea that their culture has to be fanatically protected at all costs? I can (kind of) understand the sentiment in Quebec, since they are literally surrounded by an entire continent of Anglophone influence, but why does this excessive demand for protectionism exist in France? Why do they feel that their culture is under a greater potential threat than any other country in Europe?
 

stephane dumas

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What are the French constantly obsessed with the idea that their culture has to be fanatically protected at all costs? I can (kind of) understand the sentiment in Quebec, since they are literally surrounded by an entire continent of Anglophone influence, but why does this excessive demand for protectionism exist in France? Why do they feel that their culture is under a greater potential threat than any other country in Europe?
A good question, maybe France seems to be less influent in Europe with the presence of the UK and surrounding countries like Spain and Germany. On the other hand, there is a sentiment of anti-americanism and anti-globalism who could be another factor, a couple of years ago Jose Bove, a French syndicalist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/José_Bové , demolished a McDonald's with a bulldozer in 1999.
 

stephane dumas

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I feel a fool for saying this, but I really don't have any idea of who Asterix is. A lot of my childhood icons, such as Garfield, have appeared in McD commercials, so this kind of thing doesn't really bother be.
Asterix was a Franco-Belgian comic book character created in 1959 by Albert Udzerdo (drawings) and Rene Goscinny (scenarist until his death in 1977 when Udzerdo replaced him), telling the adventures of Asterix and his companions against the Romans in 50 BC in ancient Gaul. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterix some of his adventures was adapted into animated movies and live-action movies.
 

Shirubie

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I think what annoys the french is that to them, Asterix is more then a simple cartoon character, he's a national icon. He and his village, the last one still fighting off the roman invaders, have become symbols of resistance and courage. France has been invaded, what, a dozen times in his history, by the romans, the english, the germans... The french are just really attached to the little blond warrior who stand up to the invaders.

Now to see Asterix as a mascot for an american fast-food restaurant, for the french, it's like an economic invasion rather then a military one. Americans are making money using their beloved character. If a french restaurant had used Asterix there would be no problem I think.

Try to imagine Superman or Captain America used in an ad for a chinese restaurant or japanese electronics. I think a few americans would not appreciate.
 
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Lucho

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Thing is McDonald's couldn't, and wouldn't have used the Asterix characters in a commercial or any kind of promotion without the explicit consent and approval of who ever owns the Asterix licensing franchise.
Which is a huge commercial franchise in France and Europe.
Whether the character commercial rights are in the hands of the family of the creators? Or are owned by some corporation? I have no Idea? But it's them who the French should be mad at, not McDonalds.
Since it's them who willingly licensed the characters to McDonalds, for whatever profit they incurred.