France has long been a leader in fine beverage. This has been a position of pride rather than shame, so I was surprised to hear about the temperance movement this morning while talking to Randy Resnick after recording his New Wine Consumer podcast, which can be heard at www.newwineconsumer.com.
Anyways, this all stems from Evin Law or “Loi Evin” passed in 1991, named after the gentleman who passed the law. Regarding alcohol, it said that you can’t advertise alcohol on television or in movies. Even in places you are allowed to advertise there are rules and regulations advertisers must follow, which includes displaying a health warning on the advertisement.
Now those advertising restrictions are beginning to reach the Internet, with one consequence being Heineken shutting down its French website. Frederic Delesque, the marketing director of Camus Cognac, is quoted in the UK Times as saying, “There are three countries in the world which ban the discussion of alcohol: Iran, Afghanistan, and France. It is a pity for the image of our products.”
I am blown away that this is even an issue. This has HUGE economic implications for France, none of which I can see as being positive. The world is full of problems, I just can’t understand how this would be a priority for the country that has always championed its alcoholic beverages. I’m flabbergasted, and I am convinced that the people behind this movement are all fools.