Paris: An advert for a graphic design job in France has been withdrawn after it said the candidate should "if possible not be a Jew".

Racial discrimination is illegal in France and anti-racism group SOS Racisme says it is taking legal action, BBC reported.

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

'No Jews' job ad sparks outrage in France

NSL Studio has apologised 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 has expressed its "deepest apologies" for the ad, saying it goes completely against the company's values.

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