Cantona scores own goal as anti-bank campaign flops

Wed Dec 8, 2010 5:20am EST
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PARIS (Reuters Life!) - France's banking system stood intact on Wednesday after former soccer player Eric Cantona's much-hyped call for a nationwide bank run fell on deaf ears.

Panned by the media as a "flop" and a "fizzle-out," the promised first day of "revolution" on Tuesday ended with very little real action aside from a small gaggle of costumed protesters closing their accounts at Societe Generale.

Several newspapers and websites instead focused on Cantona's wife, Rachida Brakni, who had starred in a campaign promoting French bank LCL with the slogan: "Get more out of your money."

"I believe you should act a bit more responsibly when you are actually among the eulogists of the consumer society," Solidarity Minister Roselyne Bachelot told French radio.

Former Manchester United player Cantona, who has himself pocketed big sums from sponsoring brands like L'Oreal and Nike, withdrew a "symbolic" amount from his bank and was pleased with the public reaction to his call, his lawyers said.

(Reporting by Lionel Laurent, editing by Paul Casciato)