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article imageGerman ad pokes fun at Sarkozy's height

By Johnny Summerton     Apr 28, 2010 in World
Car rental company Sixt makes fun of Nicolas Sarkozy in a poster advertising campaign. Will the French president see the funny side?
There could be trouble ahead for the car rental company Sixt following its latest advertising campaign.
A German poster for the company carries a picture of the French hatchback the Citro├źn C3 with the slogan encouraging customers to "Do the same as Madame Bruni, choose a small French model" (("Machen Sie es wie Madame Bruni. Nehmen Sie sich einen kleinen Franzosen").
You can see a photo of the advertisement here.
The reference of course is to the height difference between the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
Sarkozy reportedly measures 1m65 or 5' 5" (it differs according to which source you believe) while his wife is 1m78 or 5' 10".
"The advertisement is just meant to be amusing," says the president of Sixt in France, Jean-Philippe Doyen.
"It's typical of the kind of humour we use in our campaigns and it's not meant to be taken seriously."
As yet there has been no reaction to the Sixt poster from the couple. They're currently on a trip to China.
But given their past record, it's surely unlikely they'll be "amused".
Back in 2008 they successfully sued the low-cost carrier Ryanair for the damages after the airline used an unauthorised photo of them in an advertisement.
And during his presidency Sarkozy has resorted to legal action on more than one occasion, such as the infamous "Voodoo doll" case
The height difference between the French president and his wife has often been the subject of satire in this country and the opposition Socialist party has referred to him at times as suffering from "small man syndrome".
He's known to wear raised shoes in public, while his wife prefers to wear flats.
And then there's the so-called "Sarkozy stool" with which the French president travels and has been caught using on several occasions to give him the appearance of being taller than he actually is when making official speeches.
The media had a field day back June 2009 when a video caught the French president using the footstool during a speech at the D-Day commemorations in Normandy.
And in September last year there was a clip on "Le Petit Journal" on Canal + poking fun at Sarkozy's use of a similar "accessory" while making a speech to the United Nations.
Just for the record Sarkozy is apparently one of the shortest world leaders.
Although he's taller than the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev (1m60 or 5' 3") he's considerably shorter than his US counterpart Barack Obama (1m88 or 6' 2), the British prime minister, Gordon Brown (1m80 or 5' 11") and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel (1m72 or 5' 8").
More about France, Nicolas sarkozy, Advertising
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