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Page last updated at 18:32 GMT, Saturday, 14 November 2009

French cash giveaway called off

People gather near the Eiffel Tower, waiting for French marketing company Mailorama hostesses to deliver envelopes of cash , on November 14, 2009 at in Paris, as part of a French marketing company Mailorama advertising stunt
Around 5,000 people gathered near the Eiffel tower hoping for cash handouts

A French internet company has abandoned plans to hand out cash to the public after more than 5,000 people showed up, sparking safety concerns.

Mailorama.fr planned to distribute 5 to 500 euro notes (£4.46-£446.5) in a well advertised publicity stunt.

Police asked the organisers to call off the event near the Eiffel Tower "given the significant crowd movements".

Angry at the cancellation, some pelted windows with fruit and overturned a car. Ten people were arrested.

"We realised that it would be difficult to ensure security," said Jean-Baptiste Descroix-Vernier, chairman of the company that runs Mailorama.fr.

"Therefore I decided to cancel all distribution of money to the public for now," he said, adding the money would be given to charity.

The French government said it would file a formal complaint over the publicity stunt.



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