Paris Transport Board Launches Campaign To End Rudeness

Often thought of as a rude culture, the French don’t have the best reputation when it comes to politeness. However, the Paris transport authority, RAPT, is attempting to put an end to this with a new poster campaign showing locals how their actions appear to onlookers.

According to, the campaign features large posters depicting Parisians as animals, as the people around them stare in shock (shown right). To allow everyone to voice their frustrations, RAPT has also created a website where people can submit their own captioned photographs.

Are they creating this campaign completely based off stereotypes? Not according to data. A recent RAPT survey found that 97 percent of passengers had witnessed “uncivil” behavior on Paris public transport. This comes two years after a separate survey completed by tourists voted Parisians the rudest people in Europe. Additionally, in 2007 a report by the Committee for Modernization of the French Hotel Trade found that 25 percent of customer complaints were caused by rude service in France.

Do you think this campaign will help or hinder rudeness in France?

[Image via RAPT]

Lessons in Futility: Eradicating Parisian Rudeness

Parisians are notorious for being rude to tourists and are consistently ranked some of the rudest people in the world according to various surveys.

Filed under the category of “too little too late,” Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë has launched a promotional campaign trying to eek some friendliness out of his fellow citizens. The first ever Paris Tourist Day on July 9th, for example, featured a push to get taxi drivers to smile more and even speak some English. In addition, the city has printed up brochures titled “Charter for the Parisian and Visitor.”

The hilarious thing about this brochure is that it is not only directs Parisians how to act accordingly, but it is also tells tourists how to do so as well. I’m assuming that this is the result of some Parisian rationalizing that he wouldn’t be as rude if only tourists were more civil and polite themselves.

So, for what it’s worth, here is the Charter in its entirety. Let’s see if both sides live up to the promise.

Charter for the Parisian and visitor

As an ambassador of my country, I will share my culture

Commitments of the Parisian
– I will take the time to give information to visitors. I will make use
of my foreign language skills to reply to them in their language.
– I will recommend to visitors things I appreciate about Paris.
– I am proud of my city, the number one tourist destination in the world.

Commitments of the visitor
– I will experience the Parisian lifestyle.
– I will take advantage of my stay to try French products.
– I will respect the city and use public transport.