According to this ad from an old French magazine, flexible yet sturdy cotton shorts for children were invented in Africa. When they are a success in Europe and production is moved there, their inventor is officially rewarded by the Président.
This ad was created by O’Galop, or French cartoonist and illustrator Marius Rossillon, one of the pioneers of modern branding and probably best known for Bibendum, the character he created in 1898 for tire manufacturer Michelin (which is still in use today).
I’m not sure whether this kind of imagery is a quaint relic of a forgotten past, or a reminder of how race-based prejudices are ever present, even in a context that seems to be a confirmation of the value of all people to society. Also, the fact that those production plants are located in the East of France instead of some low-wage country is quite ironic.
(from the ever-amazing Agence Euréka)