Happy New Year to readers of this blog and visitors to Wine Travel Guides!
Not a good start to the year: the French courts have ruled against the newspaper Le Parisien for failing to display the standard alcohol warning “L’abus d’alcool est dangereux pour la santé : consommez avec modération” (“Abuse of alcohol is dangerous: consume with moderation”) underneath an article recommending Champagnes.
This warning has been obligatory since the early 1990s on all forms of alcohol advertising in France following the Loi Evin and it has led to an extreme anti-alcohol political climate in France, which includes the consumption of wine. However, to suggest that the warning should accompany articles written by journalists equates independent journalism with advertising, a ridiculous comparison in a democratic society.
FIJEV (Fédération Internationale des Journalistes & Ecrivains du Vin et des Spiritueux) an international organisation for drinks journalists and writers has organised a petition in French, so if you can read French at all and agree that this ruling is ridiculous, then please sign it here.
Please note that I’ve made a specific decision not to carry advertising on Wine Travel Guides, hence why you need to subscribe to read/download the Guides. Of course, if I did, and if the site was translated into French then I would definitely need to show the ridiculous warning message. All French websites with a wine connection and carrying advertising do show the ‘warning’ message.