An advertising campaign inviting tourists to "come and play" in France has backfired after it emerged the posters featured "little bit cheeky" images of South Africa and the US.
The French tourism board has been left red-faced after using photos of South African and American beaches to tempt British holidaymakers to France's northern coastline.
Atout was forced to apologise after being caught out for using not one but two photographs of Cape Town's Llandudno beach as part of its "France, Come and Play" advertising campaign.
But it soon slipped up again after replacing one of the pictures, supposedly of Brittany in northern France, with yet another non-French scene - this time of Clearwater Beach in Florida.
The photographs in question were used as part of a £600,000 advertising push around the London Underground designed to lure Olympics-sick Britons across the channel during this summer's games.
All of the 23 posters used in last month's campaign show a photograph of a "French" region accompanied by an Olympics-themed slogan.
It was Bradford Bird, a London-based fashion photographer, who first spotted the use of a photo of a South African beach under the slogan "Sprint finish on the Northern France Coast".
Mr Bird said: "I grew up in Llandudno and so I recognised the beach as soon as I saw it.
"I thought 'that's a little bit cheeky' and put a picture of the billboard up on my Facebook page".
After being alerted to its mistake, the Line Agency - the Norwich-based advertising company employed by Atout to carry out the campaign - quickly replaced the photo in the Brittany ad with a stock image taken from the website iStockphoto.com.
Unfortunately for them however, this photo was also decidedly "un-French".
Steve Turton, the Line Agency's Managing Director, told Channel 4 News: "The Line Agency have taken full responsibility for the initial error in using the image of the South African beach in the Northern France bit of our campaign.
"However, with regards to the US sunset picture we were aware that the sunset picture shown and quoted was a generic photo library shot. We very briefly used it as a holding image to replace the potentially misleading South African one, while we sourced a new picture that was actually in Brittany."
The offending photo has now been replaced with an image of children running along an actual beach in Brittany on the campaign's official website www.gotofrancenow.com.
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