The Senate in Paris has ratified an amendment to the Evin Law, allowing use of the internet for alcohol advertising.
The decision means that the internet will now be listed alongside television, radio and other established media within the Evin Law that governs how alcohol is advertised in France.
Until now, the Evin law, which dates back to 1991 but was revised in 2005, made no mention of the internet – so by omission any mention of wine online could be seen as illegal.
This resulted in decisions such as the removal of all advertising from Heineken’s French website in February 2008, which effectively meant closing it down.
The main beneficiaries of this will be wine producers, and online wine merchants who were threatened with having to close down their sites.
Marie Christine Tarby of lobbying group Vins et Societe told decanter.com, ‘Although the decision had already been voted by the National Assembly a few months ago, nothing is ever sure until the Senate gives its approval, so this is very good news.’
The Senate has now ended this anomaly, except on websites that are aimed at young people, or centre on sport and other physical activities.
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux