France: Naked Came The Socialist

Naked Came The Socialist

When a series of nude billboards began appearing last week, Parisians reacted with confusion rather than shock. Was the naked runner with a rose in his hand advertising a floral delivery service? Were the children, all in the buff, promoting a softer bathroom tissue? And the pregnant woman pressing a rose to her bare breast -- a new perfume?

The nude models supposedly personify the national virtues of liberty, equality and fraternity, and they figure in a complicated advertising campaign for the Socialist Party as it prepares for next year's presidential race against the Conservatives. But the billboards have merely left...