by Mike Masnick
Mon, Sep 22nd 2008 8:48am
You can understand why countries might have certain restrictions on alcohol advertising, but it would appear that France has gone a bit overboard. Based on existing laws (which pre-dated the internet) and recent court rulings, it's more or less illegal to mention alcohol brands online. That means if you're in France, you can't even visit the websites of certain wineries or beer companies, as they're afraid of getting targeted under the law. Heineken lost a lawsuit over this and had to block access to its website in France. A newspaper even got in trouble for (seriously) running an editorial about champagne. And sporting events with alcoholic sponsors are impossible. Logos of alcoholic brands are being removed from the uniforms of sports players, and even the rugby union's Heineken Cup is being referred to as the European Rugby trophy in France. The article notes that this ridiculous situation has some French comedians joking about how you won't be allowed to mention or visit such popular French regions as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and Cognac.
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