| 19th October 2010
Claude, the star of the controversial Renault campaign which unfavourably compared Gisburn, a Lancashire town with a town in France to celebrate the launch of the new Megane Coupe-Cabriolet.Residents of the village reacted angrily to the original Renault advert that at one point contrasted a sun soaked swimming pool on the Cote d’Azur to a puddle in the Lancashire village.
There were some however who managed to see the funny side of the advert, with joint-landlord of the featured pub, Barry Jones saying, “It’s a humorous campaign. As it develops the idea is to “Frenchify" the village."Despite the mixed reaction, local mayor Lois Rimmer has invited Claude back to Gisburn to open the areas first Deli and there are also plans to twin the village with the French town of Menton.After its first visit to the region, Renault donated £6,000 to the village's playing fields association and festival hall committee, cementing the adverts underlying message;“It may be French but it's OK, and that they are all right really" said Jones.The idea is all part of Renault’s new drive to inject some flair and desirability into its models, a fact displayed at the recent Paris Motor Show with the introduction of the attractive and innovative DeZir concept.Renault is no stranger to controversy after a previous Megane advert featuring plenty of bums and the word “ass", was banned from appearing on TV until after 7.30 pm.However, with the new campaign, it seems the residents of Gisburn have taken it in good humour, and it may even lead to a few more Megane sightings in that part of the world.