(November 2008) „Unter dem Pflaster liegt der Strand“ (freely translated: under the asphalt lies the beach) was the slogan of the 1968 student revolution. What young people were trying to express was that the establishment could be destabilized with little effort, e.g. by throwing a cobblestone, starting a cavalcade of events which would allow room for change to a better society. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the events leading to the student revolution and Le Monde remembered the slogan.
The print media turned the anniversary into an ingenious marketing event, involving the granite-producing firm Graniterie Petitjean. Petitjean was commissioned to deliver 1500 cobblestones to be used as paper-weights by kiosks all around France. On three faces of the cubes the names Le Monde and Petitjean were engraved. The cobblestones were cut in Rose de Senones, which Petitjean supplies.
Petitjean gained popularity not only with kiosk-buyers. Le Monde remunerated by printing advertisement. Also the company’s CEO Jean-Louis Vaxelaire made use of the publicity to propagate the ecologically friendly attributes of the material used and to propagate production. The professional journal Pierre Actual praised the event in its May issue calling it a „marketing coup“, or public-relations bombshell, in a manner of speaking.