back to article Sarko and Bruni take Ryanair for €60k

A French court has ordered Ryanair to pay Nicolas Sarkozy and missus Carla Bruni €60,001 in damages for the unauthorised use of a lovely snap of the couple in one of its cheap-fare ad campaigns. Ryanair ad featuring Sarko and Bruni The advert in question (see pic) showed a fragrant pre-nuptials Bruni mulling that with Ryanair …


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  1. Dam
    Thumb Up

    Fast justice for the powerful :o

    Jeez, it's been what, one, two weeks ?

    If only cases were as fast for us regular citizens.

    I'm still happy they won, it'd have set a very bad precedent otherwise.

    Ryanair play this game of "I didn't think it'd shock anyone", fine then, now foot the bill.

    PS: I can't see the Paris Hilton angle, unless shes does girl-on-girl with C.B. ? Full name obfuscated for obvious reasons :p

  2. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Sick as a Parrot

    "......"as a token of its regret"" ........ sang the mighty sparrow.

  3. Pete James
    Paris Hilton

    Mad Frogs and Irishmen.........

    I honestly don't know who to say is the most publicity-hungry and money fixated party here. I will say Ryanair, but only just a nose ahead of the Bruni & Sarkozy double act who do seem a bit determined to get their collective visage in every publication going. They make that Jordan doris look on the shy side.

    But Ryanair cry wolf too much so they get an additional prize for cheek.

    Paris. She loves the publicity even more.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Sarko and Bruni who ?

    Oh well, that's a bit larger "token of regret" than they expected then.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Hmm French Copyright Law (P2P)

    Wondered why Le Count Nick De Flambe was so keen on this new French P2P three strikes and your a gonna copyright Law - Hey guess what his Missus is a singer .Well BLOW ME I wondered how she persuaded him to pass that one to protect her royalties ?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Considering that...

    ... The two have significant rights in their faces/names, the case was a slam-dunk. Of course, it helps that the one party (albeit the one claiming less) is the country's president.

    To add insult to injury, RyanAir has been ordered to run the verdict in the same newspapers that they ran the ads in.

    I love it.

  7. Mark

    Wow !

    I'm sure the marketing department at Ryanair are busy fellating themselves for this coup... that €60,001 sure has bought a lot of exposure !

    And agreed with comments by Dam re: Fast justice for the powerful

  8. Wile E. Veteran
    Paris Hilton

    Cheaper than a Super Bowl ad

    I don't know what advertising goes for in the UK, but over here, the equivalent of 60,000 euros is pretty darn cheap for advertising to start with. Add in all the publicity Ryanair has garnered from this and it sounds like a really good advertising "buy" to me!

    Paris, because she's an expert at getting extra publicity for next to nothing.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spot the gold digger

    What is it les frenchies say - Cherchez la femme?

  10. Steve


    So will we see this as line item #97 on a Ryanair invoice: French Insult Charge €1.00 ?

  11. amanfromMars Silver badge

    @Mad Frogs and Irishmen.........

    Be Aware of a Paddy with his Dander Up ........ Goodness knows to where IT Navigates ITs Crafts and Skills...... Safe and Secure within Ye Olde Celtic Knowledge.

    Is Monsier Sarkozy, Madame Bruni's Muse? Vive la Difference!

    Ooops, a tad Teutonic Franglaise? VIVE LA DIFFERENCE! :-)

  12. andrew checkley
    Thumb Up


    Those marketing people at ryanair must toasting the succes of this! they knew what they were doing and storm it would generate!

    Love it!

  13. heystoopid

    Justice ?

    Justice French style ?

    Looks like Ryanair got a real bad dose of a bad hair day from a very questionable singer who cannot sing phonetically period on the current samples provided but the value of the judgement is staged so that the legal appeal costs are ten times or more to fight then to pay , an interesting choice indeed given the quickie divorce and rushed wedding ?

    Me thinks there is a stench of very rotten French fish in the air !

  14. Lol Whibley
    Thumb Up


    at twice the price..

    can't think of another way to get this kind of media coverage for the the money...

  15. Finn


    After paying only 60k for that much exposure ...Only question not answered is:

    Who is Ryanair going to offend in their next ad? Gays? Chatolics? Mormons? 50 cent?

    It seems to me that only fools and Nike use international campaigns. Ryanair uses Reuters for free.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    A bit of French legalese

    There is a small thing which has probably not been noticed by the Grauniad,

    namely that the judgment that condemns Ryanair to pay 60001 € is called

    a "référé". It is an accelerated procedure, which is used to indemnify the damage

    caused to the Sarkozy-Bruni couple by the Ryanair advert in advance of the full

    judgment. It leaves open the possibility of a later full judgment in which Ryanair

    could be condemned to pay a more important sum. A second interesting thing

    is that the French constitution makes the president the head (and the justice minister the vice-head) of the "Conseil Superieur de la Magistrature" (CSM) which is in charge of deciding which judges and prosecutors will get promoted. The CSM is also acting

    as a disciplinary court for magistrates who have violated the ethics of their profession. It has been uncommon for French president to seek redress in courts for

    misuse of their image, but in the 1970s the motorboat maker Mercury used a picture

    of president Georges Pompidou in an advertisement in the news magazine "l'Express". The court prevented the issue of "l'Express" containing the ad from

    being sold to the public until the ad was removed (this was done manually by

    the owners of newsstands).

    To finish, it is worthwhile to note that the franglais "le buzz" is making its way into the french legalese. One sentence in the judgment reads:

    "...son appréciation ne peut que tenir compte de l’étendue de la campagne publicitaire: une publication le 28 janvier 2008 dans le journal Le Parisien d’une photographie placée dans un encart publicitaire occupant environ un quart de la page 9, un important effet de buzz, recherché par la défenderesse..."

  17. triky

    cashing it in

    not to mention the fact that as of saturday (or was it monday??), bruni now goes by the name sarkozy and her 60k in damages will seemingly be split with her (shorter) second half. so really the title should read...Sarko & Sarko take Ryanair for 30k each.

    ... does that mean that her upcoming album will be signed carla sarkozy ? skulls because they are pirates of modern french politics.

  18. TeeCee Gold badge

    Who won?

    I wonder how much it would cost Ryanair to get two full articles about them in The Register, complete with advert space? Ok, not much, but: Now scale that up to everywhere that's produced a variety of articles on this one and the TV / Radio / Dead tree coverage as well. Also, for the cost of a small French advertising run, they got a large pan-European one thrown in. The beauty of the whole thing is that the only place any of this coverage is negative to them is in the sniffier parts of French society (who wouldn't be seen dead on anything other than Air France anyway).

    60,001? They'd be winning if they'd had to shell ten times that. They should definately appeal though. It'll only cost 'em a little bit extra in legal fees and they should get another round of free publicity out of it.

    Remember advertising 101: A good advert gets printed. A bad advert gets banned. A really great advert gets printed, complained about and then banned in a blaze of publicity. It's got so silly these days that certain agencies will quote the likely range of the fine up front as part of the campaign costs.

  19. Law
    Paris Hilton


    Ryan Air should run a series of these adverts... I mean, they are getting a €500,000 a shoot model, PLUS the president, for a very affordable €60,001... not to mention all the extra media coverage they get everywhere else.

    I would like to see a "Ahhhh Bisto" style series of these ads.... and the Paris icon because she will occasionally pop into the adverts with "hilarious" consequences - one example being "Wheres Sarko??" - "He's all over Paris" *cue shocked/offended pic of a naughty looking Paris*

  20. Jules


    "I wonder how much it would cost Ryanair to get two full articles about them in The Register, complete with advert space?"

    Though it's few years out of date, this should give you an idea :-)

  21. Andy
    IT Angle


    I know Sarko is a master at media puppetry, but how the hell did he manage to get a plug in an IT news channel?

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