[Newser] “The message here is that tobacco is a form of submission. In the popular imagination, oral sex is the perfect symbol of submission,” said a company spokesman.
[NY Times] The president of Droits des Non-fumeurs, Gérard Audureau, said the campaign was started after being viewed favorably by high school students. For 18 years, he said, “we did it gently, on the health aspect, with deteriorated lungs, but young people feel invincible, immortal.”
The newspaper Le Parisien quoted him as saying: “Using sex is a way to get their attention. And if it’s necessary to shock, let’s shock.”
Bertrand Dautzenberg, president of the French Office for the Prevention of Smoking, doubted the ads would work. Quoted in Le Parisien, he said, “This will shock adults while not scaring kids.”