Contest opens for dream French job

Search starts for young people to rub lotion on to 'beau monde' on beach

Wanted: young people to spend July and August on a French beach rubbing sun cream into the backs of beautiful young women. Or, if you prefer, beautiful young men. Wages: €5,000 (£4,400).

The seaside town of Sables-d'Olonne in western France will this evening launch its search for the candidates for what it describes as the "job of the summer".

As a publicity stunt, the popular resort in the Vendée, just south of Brittany, will start an internet search tonight for two "creamers". Their job will be to spend July and August on the beach with 30,000 samples of sun-cream lotion.

The perfect candidates, says the town, will be young and good-looking and have a little medical knowledge. They should also have a sense of fun and be capable of organising beach activities.

Their task will be similar to that of lifeguards. But instead of saving people from drowning, they will save people from burning. Children will have priority. But there will be nothing to prevent the "creamers" from offering to rub their products into the "upper backs and arms" of beautiful, adult young things, both male and female, who are in danger of frying to a crisp.

Applicants should speak French but do not need to be French. Full details will be available from this evening on the website

"Le job de l'été" means the "job of the summer" in French or rather in franglais. Les Sables d'Olonne is also risking the wrath of the French language police by calling its new employees "creamers", rather than "crèmeurs".

Applicants have until 26 May to send in a CV and a 45-second video in which they explain, or demonstrate, why they are ideal for the job. The two successful candidates will earn €850 (£745) a week for six weeks, from 10 July to 22 August – just more than €5,000 (£4,400).

The resort has a record of clever publicity stunts. Last year, it launched something called "l'aspirateur à nuages" – the cloud hoover. The town made a promise, which has been renewed this year, that any holidaymaker could cancel a booking up to 48 hours in advance if the weather forecast turned bad.

The French resort's sun-cream stunt is the latest example of "dream jobs" being used for promotional purposes. Queensland's tourism authorities were the first to try such a scheme with a "caretaker" posting on a remote island in the Great Barrier Reef, described as "the best job in the world".

After a global competition, the onerous task of exploring Pacific islands off the coast of Queensland and blogging about the experience went to a British man in his twenties.

Recently, a tourism company in Ireland advertised for a couple with "good communication skills" to travel to the most romantic honeymoon spots around the world. They offered €20,000 (£17,500) for the six-month posting.

"We hope that the new idea will create a lot of buzz on the internet," said François Boche, the head of Sable-d'Olonne's Office du Tourisme.

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