A newspaper life – pop culture ads from the defunct French Metronews

Metronews. Astérix. 24 Oct. 2013.

A TVTA special

One of the first jobs I did when I moved to France was working as a newspaper and advertising distributor. The newspaper in question was Metronews, which was launched 18 February 2002 as Metro then renamed Metronews in 2013 until it ceased print publication and moved online in 2015.

Metronews was hand-distributed on weekday mornings to commuters and students, and deposited in self-service racks in and outside of public buildings and city transport networks. The title was part of Metro International – a Swedish global media company since 1995 based in Luxembourg that publishes the range of Metro newspapers around the world. 

Metronews was a freesheet newspaper, and it gained the bulk of its revenues from advertising, which ultimately led to its 2015 demise due to the growing trend of advertisers and readers migrating to online services. As a consequence of the print title ending, I, and the rest of my distribution team, lost our jobs and were offered free government re-training packages.

I remember my last morning as a distributor; Friday, July the third, 2015, the day the print title ended, handing out that final ever edition with mixed emotions: it would be a relief not to have to work in the noise and bustle of one of France’s big cities full of traffic fumes and freezing wind in the winter, and to not have to wear the green T-shirt and baseball cap uniform!… but I was sure going to miss some of my daily acquaintances, the early morning chats and improving my French language skills. Plus, as a writer, there was always plenty of inspiration to be found by observing human nature and the dynamics of people when spending significant time in a big city.

TVTA never misses an opportunity to archive!

Being as my blog has always been about pop culture advertising, it was only natural during my time with Metronews I saved some of the issues – including that last ever edition I mentioned… funny to think that each of the covers you are about to see I personally handed out at one time, thinking to myself: hmm, I must remember to save one of these to post up on my blog one day…

Metronews. Grand Theft Auto V. 17 Sep. 2013.

Metronews Star Wars Rebels. 2014.

Metronews. Star Wars Rebels. 30 Sept 2014.

Metronews. Star Wars Rebels. 2014.

Metronews. Star Wars Identities. 19 Dec. 2014.

Metronews. Super Mario 3D World. Cover. 29 Nov. 2013.


Metronews. Penguins of Madagascar. 11 Dec. 2014.


The final edition cover, 3 July, 2015

Metronews. Final print issue. Cover. Vendredi 3 Juillet. 2015.


Thank you for delivering the news with us 🙂

9 thoughts on “A newspaper life – pop culture ads from the defunct French Metronews

  1. Wow, what a collection and you had a personal hand in delivering them! I see Metronews had an interest in Star Wars….they had taste. The images are a bit grainy, is that because they were printed on non glossy news sheet paper because it gives them an interesting gritty look.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks FT. Yes, Metronews was involved in the promotion of many films at French cinemas, Star Wars and Marvel being a big draw. Our rival newspaper was a title called “20 Mins” which did much the same thing. And you’re correct, the images are grainy due to the cheap, thin, paper sheets they used. I’m glad I scanned these few as in time they’re likely to fade. I grumbled earlier about the uniform we had to wear, but I did keep my T-shirt as a memento 🙂 In the 2013 live action film Smurfs 2 you briefly see a Parisien Metronews distributor as an extra in one of the Paris street scenes. This was at the time I was working, so I was very pleased to see my ‘profession’ represented for two seconds in a big budget film lol.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi again, there’s nothing wrong with a green T-Shirt…I’m thinking of getting some merch for myself and I have a thing for green!
        I will have to grab a copy of Smurfs 2 and have another watch to pick that detail out. It should be fun as I really liked Hank Azaria’s Gargamel performance in that film…I’d swear the cartoon had been brought off the page/screen into real life.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, the T-shirt is okay actually, and it was a fun Smurfs film. IIRC the scene is at the end as they’re parading down the street, and you see a young man in his green uniform and also the flagpole and green banner of his mobile dispenser. My family didn’t spot it so I rewound the scene and yelled out “Monsieur, Madame, Metronews!”

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll have a look on YouTube and see if that scene is available…but I can’t promise my French would be as good as yours…je parle un peu français!

        Liked by 1 person

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