Coco Avant Chanel Smokin’ Poster Banned In Paris

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While fashion adorers worldwide impatiently await Coco Avant Chanel, the movie, lucky Parisians who already have the chance to see the movie in theaters starting April 22 (yesterday), noticed a morally dubious poster adorning their ad spaces: Le poster de Coco Avant Chanel where Audrey’s character, Coco, holds a cigarette.

It may not look as offensive for Coco fans (given she smoked more than 2packs/day) but I think the French authorities did the right thing by banning this poster in Paris. (the story continues right after the jump, with pictures of the alternative posters for Coco avant Chanel)

Coco avant Chanel smoking movie poster

Smoking is less fashionable than magazines/advertisers want to make you believe. And even if portraying a non-smoking Coco is historically wrong, we don’t live those times anymore and smoking consequences are far from being small health issues. Should they ban the smoking poster? Should they just trust the viewers’ freedom of choice? (via, photos via 1, 2)

Coco avant Chanel movie poster 2

Coco avant Chanel movie poster 3


#1 Ellington on 04.23.09 at 3:25 pm

I do not smoke, I never have and I have never been one to fall prey to peer pressure. Smoking is a nasty habit, and I think it is a fair cop to not show Coco smoking in the poster. Yes she did in real life but as long as it is in the film I don’t think that it needs to be shown in the poster for the film. When I think of Coco Chanel I think of her iconic suits,perfume and style not cigarettes and that she smoked.

#2 Adriana on 04.23.09 at 5:20 pm

I think the “smoke poster” is the most realistic one in my opinion. If you don’t like it or doesn’t agree don’t show it at all. It doesn’t promote smoking but shows Coco Chanel as she was; a chain smoker…..
I do not smoke cigarettes. I do live in the Netherlands where the smoking ban is “fresh” since last July 2008 and people still discuss this. And now our streets have become filthy ashtrays. Because people does go on smoking: outside shops, restaurants, café’s….everywhere….so besides the poisoned air by cars, scooters, factories and/or other toxic substances there’s now nicotine everywhere too! All that together me couching. Bah!

To me it should be a free choice. If people wants to relax in a smoke-café it should be an option. Freedom for the individual, boss of your own body or life. As a visitor I can decide myself if I want to enter that place or not.
Do not smoke cigarettes in my home please. I don’t want to be judgemental though, if people like to smoke…let them….as long as they doesn’t bother me. I feel not bothered by the poster at all. If there was no discussion I wouldn’t even have noticed it at all! Besides that I see posters and billboards that does “shock” me often more than this one. And that still can goes on?

Lastly, I hate, really HATE people with too much fragrance on. Especially in restaurants or an airplane! In the cinema it’s not that nice either. Sometimes it’s so bad that you can taste it. Yuk!

Anyway, a poster wouldn’t hold people back to see this movie but as a movie-lover I go for the “smoke poster”. That’s more Coco Chanel (to me) than the other options. I’m already jealous at the ones who have this one: that’s a collecters item!

#3 kpriss on 04.24.09 at 6:59 am

Actually, Adriana, I though the same way – people have the right to do whatever they want. If it’s their choosing to mess up their lungs et caetera, let them!

But then again, when you have children (especially little children), you suddenly turn into a guardian. You sometimes feel the pain of not being able to teach everyone the “good” lesson. So your children can follow only the “good” patterns. But then again, that’s an utopic image of the world and living in the real world has somewhat real consequences also.

I’ve photoshopped the poster so the smoke and the cigarette are almost invisible now, but I wanted to talk about this smoking-issue with you. Because we all care. And because more people should care also. I’d love to see the movie, with or without Coco smoking. It’s an historical portrayal, it can’t be done otherwise, but as far as setting an example, it’s all-negative.

#4 Adriana on 04.24.09 at 8:12 am

Kpriss, I got your point. I was not really arguing with you or judgemental. I understand where you’re coming from. And I wish all parents where guardians over their children because I see kids in the weekends on the streets completely wasted on alcohol and then I read the papers on Monday and I’m worried…..

But this is only a movie poster. Not an example for children! I don’t think they give it much that much attention. Look at all these big bill boards with lingerie models on it, female and male. I don’t mind them at all. Some make me smile brigth. But young adolescents? Let alone all the violent movie posters! Gosh, I can think for myself and chose if I want to see such a movie but what do kids see? How do they react? If I see them in the weekends being so rude and or violent….brrrr…..

In my surroundings are some kids that age. So I’m talking with them. My fave is a 12 year old boy. His mother smokes. Not that much though. She doesn’t smoke in her home. No one is allowed to do so. But she goes to the balckony to smoke. Her son thinks she’s complete nuts and doesn’t want to smoke at all. And I’ve the feeling he never ever will even start.

Awww, to protect the children there’s so much to change…….

#5 Adriana on 04.24.09 at 8:14 am

One more thing, I cannot wait to see what’s going to happen here with that poster……I’ll let you know……

#6 Spartan on 10.24.09 at 6:00 am

It’s nothing to do with freedom of choice … it’s altering history to suit certain people’s percieved view of how the world should be regardless of facts.

The French are particularly good at this with ref to WW2 and the role of France in it.

Do we now photoshop out Churchill’s cigar? … or Bob Marley’s spliffs?

It’s already been done with the iconic Abbey Road pic. McCartneys cigarette has been removed.

Live with your history … don’t try to alter it by doing something so ridiculous.

Do you think by removing pics of cigarettes it actually makes a differnce to people smoking? Have drugs disappeared because they aren’t advertised anywhere?

To ban anything makes it more interesting to teens. l’ll leave you with Marlon Brando from The Wild One:-

‘Hey, Johnny, what are you rebelling against?’

Johnny’s (Brando) retort, ‘Whaddya got?’

#7 Adriana on 10.24.09 at 12:13 pm

Spartan, I agree. I cannot else than agree.

I’m Dutch. And here in the Netherlands we have coffeeshops for soft-drugs as is well known. Last week I read a report, as well in our own news papers as on the sites of foreign news papers that the use of cannabis is the highest in the US (yes, first!), Australia and New Zealand, Asia, UK and then came the rest of Europe and than us!! Thus the danger is the ban.
I shall always defend my country’s policy in this matter. The danger is that when young kids want to smoke weed they also have access to other far more dangerous drugs. The Drug Police might have more time and money when cannabis is legalized. They can spend this on the real bad stuff. Cannabis is thus legal less attractive for certain people. Plus it’s attractive for the taxes and it’s more safe for the users to control it. Alcohol can be a hard drug and is everywhere available and we know how much damage this can brings………..Not to speak about “precripted drugs”……:(

I’m far off topic….no, this film poster was not banned here. I’ve a flyer of the poster on my pin-board since I’ve been to this film last summer. With the cigarette…..

Kpriss, sorry I’m not a cannabis promoter and I’m not a doughnut either I defended something I truly believe in. :)

#8 Adriana on 10.24.09 at 12:16 pm

P.S. I’m amazed that Mad Men is not banned from US tv! I almost started to couch and imagined I smelled smoke when this series was on!! Ugh, ugh…..brrrr……

#9 Spartan on 10.26.09 at 7:40 am

Ahhh… Adriana … where to begin?

The basic difference between the self-appointed high priests and followers of the new religion of non-smoking and those outcasts of society (smokers) is that the almost fanatical non-smokers feel it is their duty to constantly berate/intimidate/humilate the smokers to become on of them.

Whereas smokers do not try to enforce their personal choice upon others … ie. adding cigarettes to images of historical figures who did not smoke!

Yet we have the situation where smokers are not allowed in pubs, restaurants etc because of regulations based on the belief of passive smoking etc. l won’t go into the validity of passive smoking or other statistics because in reality that is not the issue.

The issue is, why cannot people be allowed to have their own choice? Why can’t we have rooms and the like for smoking? The staff and customers would know it is a smoking establishment so where is the problem? Also, take into account that modern equipment can make the air cleaner than any other place you care to choose that has no such equipment.

John Mortimer QC and writer (Rumpole of the Bailey) took up smoking again in his 80’s even though he didn’t particularly enjoy it but because of the non-smoking regs which he saw as part of the continual loss of freedoms instigated by this present government.

Indeed he quoted “There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward.”.

Now alcohol is on the list of all these experts who want to curtail our choices and way of life … as indeed is food.

As such … l am damned … l love Jack Daniels, smoking and eating food that is now deemed unhealthy. Maybe l shan’t live to an old age but on my tombstone it won’t say ‘I Died’ it shall say ‘I Lived!’

p.s. as for the drugs issue, write to me at (damn, another vice l’m in … gaming!) … would love discussing it and to hear from you.

#10 Adriana on 10.26.09 at 12:54 pm

Spartan, thanks for the offer but no….I’ve nothing really to discuss. I’ve said enough.

#11 Ellington on 10.26.09 at 1:38 pm

Spartan, do as you wish. Smoke, but please be mindful where you do so, I hate second hand smoke as do a lot of people and it is disgusting when one is trying to eat and it is permeating the air, and it stinks up my lovely duds. Drink all the JD that you wish, but please do not drive after doing so. Eat what ever you want.

You have to be responsible to yourself but you also have to remember that you are not the only one living in society and often what we do and do not do has a cause and effect on others, for better or for worse. No man is an island, to use an old aphorism, but it still rings true.
As for historical figures smoking, they did so yes but I do not romanticize it. It is not what I remember about them, and I am sure if polled others would say the same. The fact that they did dose not make them great or memorable to the public,it is what they did that does.
As for the Rumpole of the Bailey guy taking up smoking in protest, to that I say… Whiz Ding, huzzah for him. Your stance is just as a sanctimonious as the non smokers whom you rail against.
Have fun what ever you decide to do.

#12 Adriana on 10.26.09 at 1:52 pm

Another thing girls have you seen the movie? I liked to watch it but I’ve almost forgotten about it….I remember the end and…..(no spoilers of course!)

#13 Spartan on 10.26.09 at 4:39 pm

@Ellington …. You really do miss the point. By all means go to your smoke-free restaurants etc but allow smokers to go to theirs.

lt’s all a matter of freedom of choice. You can still enter a smokers venue if you so wish but there will be smokers.l can enter a non-smoking venue but cannot smoke. Simples! it’s a decision we make … not the State.

No-one is romanticising historical figures that smoke but to attempt to change history is wrong.

The one l very much object to is the photoshopping of the Beatles Abbey Road album cover. McCartney holding the cigarette in his right hand made rise to a belief that McCartney had died as he is left handed.This was given credence by the fact that he was bare-footed as well.

To remove the cigarette is nothing but puritanically based vandalism.

#14 Ellington on 10.26.09 at 5:07 pm

Hey Adriana!
No I have not seen the film as yet.
I have a truck load of films that I have yet to see and that is mos def one of them! :)
I am aiming to see at least two films this weekend!

Oh and Spartan I missed no points. I simply wrote a response to your comment :)
You keep mixing points of contention (famous people smoking and being able to smoke everywhere you wish). They really do not have that much to do with each other. The famous person smoking was the crux of Kpriss’ blog entry ( in this case the biographical film of Coco Chanel). You have taken this topic and turned into a platform where the non smokers are right wingish evil despots and the smokers are the long suffering pariahs (cue the Battle Hymn Republic) who speak for truth and freedom (right). Nothing is ever that black and white.
You talk of smoking restaurants . There are none in Toronto anymore. I am ever so glad that they gone. It makes for an extremely pleasant dining experience and this is also coming from people I know who do smoke.
Here is a solution open a smoker’s club! I am sure that you will find some patrons.
Oh and in closing did you ever see that episode of “Seinfeld” where Kramer decided to have a smoker’s club in his apartment?
That ended badly and hilariously!

Smoke till your heart’s content, drink all the JD you can and eat all the red meat and no vegetables! Live your life! :)

A beintot!

#15 Spartan on 10.26.09 at 5:47 pm

@ Ellington re quote “The famous person smoking was the crux of Kpriss’ blog entry ( in this case the biographical film of Coco Chanel)”

Beatles not famous or iconic enough for you? … or do you wish for posters simply to put ‘l agree’ or ‘l disagree’ to OP?


#16 Ellington on 10.26.09 at 6:10 pm

Ye gads!
Enough. You were the one to bring up the Beatles et al. I neither worship nor disparage the Beatles, but like I mentioned before the poster posted is of Audrey Tattou as Coco Chanel which was the topic at hand that was illustrated and if the said famous folk smoked or not, it is not what they are remembered for. It truly is moot if they show them smoking in the poster or not. People are not going to see the film because “Hey Coco smoked!” Or listen to the Beatles because “Hey Paul smoked in the Abbey Road photo!” Whoo Hoo!!
And no I do not expect people to agree or to disagree with in one word or two, that would be extremely boring and pedantic. but I do expect them to carry a clear and concise argument/discussion without bring up non sequiturs (ie) the Beatles and confounding the whole deal. This is becoming totally jank on both sides, and I am stopping here.

Please just be as happy as you can and go smoke.
Thanks ever so much.

#17 Devilsadvocate on 11.10.09 at 1:01 pm

What a stupid bloody world we’ve become. We obviously can’t think for ourselves anymore can we? We have to be told what to think and just to enforce the doctrine they alter histoty. Spartan, l’m with you all the way.

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