French court to rule on Sarkozy suit against Ryanair
Lawyers for Sarkozy and Bruni asked a Paris court to order budget airline Ryanair to pay damages for featuring a photo of the couple in an ad campaign
PARIS, February 1, 2008 - Lawyers for President Nicolas Sarkozy and his
girlfriend Carla Bruni asked a Paris court on Thursday to order budget airline
Ryanair to pay damages for featuring a photo of the couple in an ad campaign.
Sarkozy is seeking a symbolic sum of one euro in damages while Bruni is
demanding 500,000 euros (740,500 dollars) from Ryanair for violation of their
right to privacy.
"Ryanair is a serial offender. It's at least the third time that it has
acted in a such way," said lawyer Thierry Herzog.
The advertisement ran in the popular Le Parisien daily this week, featuring
a photograph of the couple smiling dreamily while a caption next to Bruni
reads "With Ryanair, my whole family can come to my wedding".
Sarkozy, 53, told a news conference this month that his relationship with
the 40-year-old former model was "serious" and suggested they planned to marry.
The Paris high court is to render its decision on Tuesday.
Last month, Ryanair reached an out-of-court settlement with Sweden's former
prime minister Goeran Persson for using his picture in an ad campaign without
That ad showed Persson and ex-foreign minister Laila Frievalds under the
caption "Time to flee the country?" after the government was shaken by a
crisis of confidence.
Britain's advertising watchdog this week rapped the Irish low-cost airline
for a flights promotion that showed a young woman dressed like a schoolgirl.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 13 complaints from
readers who found it offensive.