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Burgundy ads banned for sexual innuendo

A Burgundy advertising campaign has been banned for associating sexual attraction with wine drinking.

The judgment, passed at the beginning of January under a 1991 law, ruled that the advertisements broke the law by showing a series of attractive women’s bodies, which were too suggestive, and ‘were not simply informative as the law demands.’

One advertisement (pictured), run by the BIVB (the Burgundian wine trade body) featured the curvaceous outline of a beautiful woman in an evening dress of flowing wine.

The BIVB has already appealed against this decision, while the ANPAA, the French association for the prevention of alcoholism and addiction which initiated the action, now intends to target other advertising campaigns run by wine trade bodies.

‘Our purpose is to keep an eye on any wine advertisement campaign and to ensure that the law is respected. Our lawyers are examing the Bordeaux wine campaign right now,’ ANPAA president Alain Rigaud told decanter.com.

ANPAA is exploiting the relatively recent and powerful Evin Law of 1991, which regulates wine advertising in France. The law stipulates that advertisements must be strictly informative, and may not for example use words like ‘seduce’ or anything which suggests wine can be involved in sexual seduction. Judges have to decide whether or not an advertisement uses such metaphor or innuendo to encourage the consumption of wine.

Elsewhere in France, Bordeaux has been very careful when designing its own campaign. ‘We chose a very responsible slogan – ‘Drinking less but drinking better’ – on a white background and featuring genuine winemakers, so as to convey a professional atmosphere,’ said Pascal Goyard, a specialist wine lawyer in Paris. ‘But no one from now on can be assured of not being prosecuted, since the Burgundy case is bound to set a precedent.’

‘We sympathise with our colleagues in Burgundy and we now wonder whether we will still be able to continue to advertise our wines,’ said Roland Feredj, director of the CIVB, the main Bordeaux trade body.

Written by Florence Kennel

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