A large German manufacturer of high-pressure washers and other cleaning equipment on Tuesday urged French politicians to stop referring to it in the middle of a hotly contested presidential contest and said that they gave the group a bad reputation.
Karcher, a family-owned company whose distinctive yellow and black products are synonymous with high-pressure washers in France, demanded in a statement “an immediate halt to all use of its brand.”
The protest came after right-wing candidate Valerie Pecresse promised to clean up crime-ridden suburbs and other urban areas, saying, “We have to get Karcher out again.”
The German company condemned the “inappropriate” use of its brand which is linked to “violence and insecurity, even if … we defend solid civic values.”
This is not the first time Karcher has been drawn into the French political ring.
In 2005, Nicolas Sarkozy, then interior minister but with the eyes of the presidency, promised to remove the “scum” from France’s cruel housing project with a Karcher.
Two years later, far-right veteran Jean-Marie Le Pen criticized Sarkozy for wanting to “Karcherize” the projects, which led to a similar protest from the company.
“Karcher’s brand is not a ‘banner’ for any political party,” it said on Tuesday.
The two rounds of the French presidential election are set for April, with Emmanuel Macron generally expected to seek re-election, although he has not yet officially announced his campaign.