Here is a wall that illustrates perfectly the harsh competition between two of France's leading brands of aperitifs: Dubonnet and Suze. Between the early twentieth century and the 1960s they both painted thousands of signs across the country to try to attract customers. In 1922 Fernand Moureaux, the creator of Suze, announced he wanted to see the name of his aperitif painted in every French town and village. That would have been a staggering 36,000 signs at least (actually we can assume larger towns would have got more than one. Thus if his dream had come true the figure might have been well above 50,000!). In Cozes, Dubonnet came first but when the company did not renew its contract, Suze seized the opportunity to put its name on the wall and obliterate part of its competitor.
To the right of the 'U' of Suze appears what was certainly the name of the company that managed this wall: Bézicot (painted twice). A quick search online shows an advertising agency of that name existed in Bordeaux in the 1960s.
For more signs and information about Dubonnet, click here and here. For Suze, click here.
Location: Route de Bordeaux, Cozes, Charente-Maritime / Picture taken on: 07/06/2010
5 years ago