The ad was posted on Monday by Paris-based NSL Studio on jobs site.

NSL Studio has apologized for the ad but offered various explanations as to why it contained the offending clause. The company was quoted Monday as saying that the hours of work, particularly during busy periods, meant the candidate should not be someone with cultural or religious needs.

A statement on NSL Studio's website (in French) now says the company "distances itself totally from all racist or anti-Semitic acts or statements".

It says the person in charge of placing the advert will be questioned and appropriate measures taken if it does turn out that the ad originated with NSL Studio. Job site Graphic-Jobs.com has expressed its 'deepest apologies' for the ad, saying it goes completely against the company's values.

In a statement (in French) Graphic-Jobs.com says it will strengthen its checking systems and is consulting its legal team about the implications.

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