European Parliament Building, Strasbourg July 2006Commercial Television in France is just that – commercial, and this was never more apparent than during the coverage of the World Cup.

It seems that if a TV show is sponsored (which these days most inevitably are), not only do those sponsors get to run their ads before, after and during the show, they also get to run their ads whenever the show is publicised.

So when a trailer comes on it must be followed by the ads of the sponsors. But the most annoying thing is – that these ads are between 5 and 10 seconds long, so when there is more than one, or several, sponsors as there were for the coverage of the world cup – you end up watching a blipvert of micro adverts for the entirety of the commercial break.


“Seven thirty tonight on Coronation Street … Ear who’s that tart I saw your fella with last night?!… Cadbury’s sponsors Coronation Street … Honda – sponsors Coronation Street … Gilette – sponsors Coronation Street”

“At eight o’clock Midsomer Murders … Sarge, he’s been decapitated … Toblerone sponsors Midsomer Murders … Toyota – sponsors Midsomer Murders … Wilkinson Sword – sponsors Midsomer Murders”

Annoying isn’t it?