The French anti-wine lobby has collected another win. LVMH, owner of the Champagne house Moët & Chandon, has been fined €30,000 by a Paris court for an ad campaign they ran in 2003/4 on the theme “la vie en rose”. It’s the state financed organization ANPAA (Association Nationale de Prevention en Alcoologie et Addictologie) who took the campaign to court.
The judgment says that the slogan used, together with the image (a champagne bottle surrounded by pink rose petals against a black background) violated advertising norms in that it had as aim to create an idea association between consumption of champagne and having a euphoric view on life (‘voire la vie en rose’).
One can only assume that the ANPAA sees the judgment as a great step forward in the fight against drug abuse and alcoholism in France. In some way they should no doubt motivate their allocated budget (70 million € if we remember the number correctly). And now they will have another €30,000. Perhaps they can spend it on celebrating the victory in champagne.
This comes close on the heels of another judgment where the French daily Le Parisien was fined €5000 for and article on champagne that did not carry a health warning (a purely editorial article that is. Not any advertising in this case). We understand that Le Parisien has no intention to appeal the ruling. Perhaps they think €5k now is cheaper than €30k in an appeal… Presumably their wine correspondent need to find another job. No doubt this will have an impact on the advertising revenue that French media will get from champagne houses (and others).
Read more about this astonishing development here decanter.com and here actualite.aol.fr, and why not the triumphal press release from the ANPAA www.anpaa.asso.fr. One wonders how long the French will stand having the ANPAA pushing this kind of activities. Some more background here: thepost.ie. ”This is a potentially dangerous product” says Patrick Elineau, director at ANPAA.
FIJEV, the international association of wine journalists, has created an online petition to protest against the court ruling that implies that editorial text, written by a journalist with the aim to inform, is considered equivalent to publicity. About the verdict in Le Nouvel Observateur nouvelobs.com. And in Decanter. Do sign this petition if you support the view that journalism is different than publicity and advertising: the petition. Read more about it: Drinksmediawire.com
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