French Boycott C'est Tres Difficile

The US and Great Brittain have been blaming France for the diplomatic stalemate in the UN leading up to the war in Iraq. That has lead many people, including some national talk show hosts, to call for a boycott of French products and services. But, in a world of international corporate mergers, saying no to the French is much tougher than simply switching to Freedom Fries.

Many East Texans say they want to boycott French products, but that may be more difficult than it sounds. Take razors for example. On the package, it says made in the USA, but Bic razors and pens and lighters are produced by a French company. So are many makeup brands. L'Oreal, Maybeline, Christian Dior, and Drakkar Noir are all french owned.

Joi Polve's husband is in the army. She's trying to support him with her checkbook at the checkout. "It's just every day use stuff that you find out are products that you really like happen to be manufactured in Germany and France. So, it kind of makes your whole shopping experience longer."

Some times things just aren't what they seem. Take the video game, "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon." It's an American author with an American book about American soldiers in combat. But, the video game is made by UbiSoft, a French company.

Stevie Wonder's record label, Motown is French owned. Magazines from Road and Track to Women's Day are as well. How about the movies in your DVD player? Eminem's "8 Mile", "American Pie", "Happy Gilmore" and "Back to the Future" are distributed by the French. And even electronics like RCA call Paris home.

It's not always a matter of where things are made. The parent company of the Alcatel business in Longview is French. While there are red white and blue flags out front the ultimate profits go to the "blue blanc et rougue".

Even the tires on your car may be French Michelins, Uniroyals, or BF Goodrichs. Some Nissan cars are made in Japan, some are made in Mexico and some are even made in the United States, and they're sold on lots owned by East Texans But, Nissan is owned by a French company, Renault.

All of this means before you take a stand against French goods, you first need to sit down and do your homework.

To get a more comprehensive list of French made or owned products just go to and click on the "Know More on 7" icon. There you'll find a link to the "French Products."

Stephen Parr, reporting.