Derby ad agency gives the French some lessons in love

Those damned French, with their sultry accents, romantic culture and sexual freedom. They’re just constantly at it, aren’t they?

Take a look at this ad from France (right), for example, featuring a couple about to have sex. Even on the other side of the Channel you’d imagine that this must have some vague connection with some sexy product, no matter how tenuous the link. But the Diary is really struggling to understand the connection between two scantily clad, attractive people and Portakabin. Yes, that’s right, Portakabin.

After consulting a handy Tricolore textbook, the Diary has roughly translated the writing at the top of the ad as saying either “As you can see, Pierre Du Valle isn’t the least bit worried about his Portakabin building arriving on time” or “Xavier’s sister has four apples”. The link was obvious really, wasn’t it? But that’s the French for you, yet again putting us uptight Brits to shame.

However, on closer inspection it transpires that the agency behind the ad is McConnells Advertising, which is based in that well-known romantic hot-spot, Derby, and beat two French agencies to clinch the Portakabin France account with its sexy images. “Derby: the city of love” has quite a ring to it, doesn’t it? It surely can’t be long before star-cross’d lovers are walking along the banks of the Derwent, sipping vintage Buxton water and falling in love to the strains of the Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here