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M. Hulot's pipe lost to political correctness

THE pipe favored by one of French cinema's most enduring comic characters has fallen victim to advertisers who were worried about breaking an anti-smoking law - but have earned mockery and ridicule instead.

Jacques Tati's Monsieur Hulot, the accident-prone hero of several films from 1953 to 1971, is seen riding his Velosolex motor scooter in a poster advertising a retrospective at the Cinematheque de Paris.

But his trademark pipe has been replaced by a small colored whirligig by Metrobus, the group that manages advertising on Paris public transport, because of fears the pipe could break a law forbidding "direct or indirect" tobacco advertising.

The Liberation daily was among many newspapers mocking the cover-up, pointing out Mr Hulot is not wearing a helmet, is riding an old-fashioned, polluting vehicle and the small boy riding behind him is not seated securely.


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