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Condom maker claiming to be from Condom, France, is fined


Products from The Original Condom Company, which is getting sued for claiming to be based in Condom, France.

BORDEAUX - A maker of condoms purported to be from the town of Condom in southwestern France has been ordered to pay 10,000 euros ($12,600) for false advertising after the provenance of its prophylactics was found to be Malaysia.

"The Original Condom Company" advertised its condoms as coming from the picturesque forested town on the river Baise.

However a court in the city of Bordeaux has ordered the firm, run by two Frenchmen, to remove references to the town from its advertising, as only an unoccupied address could be found there.

In addition to boldly claiming on its website to be headquartered in Condom, France, "The Original Condom Company" says it's the "first luxury condom." Buyers can purchase single condoms, packs of three, or packs of six -- which come in a jet-black, engagement ring-like box with gold lettering.

TheOriginalCondom.com also gives a brief description of the town of Condom, France, and educates consumers about certain French delicacies -- like foie gras.

Condom's mayor, Bernard Gallardo, said the town of about 7,000 residents has "other advantages" to boast of, besides its name that for years has famously caused English-speaking tourists to stop and pose for photos next to its main sign.

"We're not going to hide our heads in the sand; we won't prevent people from making a link with the name. But retreating into such notoriety can only compromise the tourism qualities of the town," Gallardo told Reuters, citing its gastronomy and old mansions.

The town of Condom has no connection to the contraceptive device -- which in French is called "preservatif," not condom -- however, in 1996, residents embraced the jokes about their name and approved the opening of a condom museum in their town, according to The New York Times.

Unfortunately for the town, Francophile tourists passing through might also snigger at the name of the local river, which is French for the activity for which condoms are intended.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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