World heritage town demands removal of McDonald’s ads

Vincent Chauvet, the 29-year-old new mayor of Autun town, has written to Nawfal Trabelsi, president of McDonald’s France

The mayor of a Saône-et-Loire town hoping for Unesco World Heritage status has demanded that McDonald’s advertising be removed, calling it “visually aggressive”.

Vincent Chauvet, the 29-year-old new mayor of Autun town (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté), has written to Nawfal Trabelsi, president of McDonald’s France, saying he no longer wants to see this kind of advertising in the streets of the town, and asking for the adverts’ removal.

If nothing happens, the town may use its municipal powers to ban the images altogether, which are said to be very large and do not even feature a logo.

They are said to include photos of a hamburger dripping with sauce, a close-up of fries, and a very detailed shot of crispy chicken nuggets, according to French news source FranceInfo.

The town is particularly against the use of such imagery as it has been named a “town of art and history” (Ville d'Art et d'Histoire), and is a candidate for Unesco World Heritage status.

Chauvet has said he would - at a minimum - like to see adverts that “blend in” more to the town’s surroundings, in a less “aggressive” manner.

Said to have been founded over 2 000 years ago by Emperor Augustus as part of the the city of Morvan, the town is known as an ancient French-Roman capital, and is hoping to receive the Unesco accolade in recognition of its history and the continuing quality of its heritage.

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