Is France Going To Ban Mentioning Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne And Cognac Online?

from the these-places-do-not-exist dept

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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Filed Under: alcohol, france, online advertising


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  1. identicon
    Hulser, 22 Sep 2008 @ 9:57am

    All content is [alcohol] advertising and all [alcohol] advertising is content

    From the article...
    "Winemakers and other players in the drinks industry are fighting to avert a ban on advertising, sales and even vineyard websites that has been looming ever since a court ruled that the internet should be included in France's strict laws regarding alcohol advertising."

    Well, the good news is that the French government appears to agree with Mike's assertion that "All content is advertising and all advertising is content." The bad news of course is that the distinction between advertising and content is more than just an academic argument over semantics. Confusing the two terms can have real world negavite affects, such as an organization taking advantage of a poorly-worded law to advance their (most likely small minority) agenda.

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