Condom company fined for using French town's name

BORDEAUX, Sept 6 Thu Sep 6, 2012 1:53pm EDT

BORDEAUX, Sept 6 (Reuters) - 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.

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.

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.

($1 = 0.7915 euros) (Reporting By Claude Canellas and Jean Decotte; Writing by Alexandria Sage)