Posters, which started appearing on local authority notice boards on Tuesday, are also subject to the most stringent of rules.
They mustn't be printed on a white background because that's only reserved for official announcements, and woe betide candidates who try to use any combination of red, white and blue, the colours of the French tricolore. It's against the rules and if broken will result in a fine.
And those posters - two for each candidate - are only allowed to appear on the notice boards put in place the local authority specifically for the election - although that's not always a rule to which party supporters adhere.
French presidential election 2012 posters - against the rules (screenshot BFM TV)
The French can also expect to hear pamphlets and letters plopping through their letter boxes as the postal campaign to woo the 45 million registered voters is now also allowed, but again size and format have to be the same for each candidate.
And as "officially" as the campaigning starts, so it will end...at midnight on April 21, the day before the election, together with a ban on candidates making public statements and opinion polls being published.
They're off! The official campaign in the French presidential elections opens. TV spots, posters and mailing.