‘Deep concern’ for French alcohol ad lawBy Annie Hayes
Lobby group Eurocare has called for the protection of French alcohol marketing policy “Evin’s Law”, which may be “stripped of its powers” if new legislation is passed.
The European Alcohol Policy Alliance – Eurocare – represents 57 organisations across Europe, and is said to be “extremely concerned” about new legislation which is due to be discussed in French Parliament.
Evin’s law restricts alcohol and tobacco advertising across France, making it illegal to advertise alcohol over 1.2% abv at young people, on television or in cinemas.
In addition, alcohol brands are not permitted to sponsor cultural or sports events.
The amendment – drawn up by French senator and former wine maker, Gérard César – proposes to “separate the definition of advertising from information”.
Eurocare believes this action would “greatly increase” opportunities for spirits companies to generate indirect publicity and promotion of their products, making enforcement of Evin’s law “impossible” in the future.
Claude Evin, who drew up the Evin law in 1991, warns the legislation would give drinks companies “almost limitless” freedom to market their products.
A statement on the Eurocare website warned: “For the first time since 1991, France will be unable to protect its children and young people from exposure to influential lifestyle-based alcohol marketing messages.
“The marketing of alcohol must be controlled because of the high risks associated with alcohol consumption, including risks to children who are vulnerable to negative impacts of alcohol advertisements.
“Evin’s Law is seen as a model for health agencies of many European countries and indeed worldwide.
“Weakening this law would be sending a negative message to all European institutions and citizens concerned by the harms caused by alcohol to individuals, families and communities.”