French anti-abuse spot not quite a knockout


This anti-domestic-violence slugfest from France probably would've made our 30 Freakiest Ads of 2010 list had it smashed onto the Web a week or two earlier. It's pretty violent and upsetting. The mayhem, for the most part, is sudden and horrific, and makes for an effective juxtaposition with the quiet, middle-class, suburban locales. For this particular category, that's good. But the PSA's reach exceeds its grasp. The changing-room molestation scene and kitchen catfight, both between two women, are a bit of a disconnect—at least in the U.S., where we don't see same-sex couples interacting on TV at all, violently or otherwise. Some folks might even find them hot—or the stuff of parody. And for this category, that's bad. The copy at the end reads: "Domestic violence: To remain silent is to participate," a message that itself is controversial, as it assigns culpability to the abused. UPDATE: Commenters point out that the abusers here are meant to be friends and neighbors, not partners—and the message is aimed at them. Fair enough, though it seems easily misconstrued.