French court rules online alcohol ads illegal
French court ruled it illegal to advertise alcoholic drinks on the Internet, giving the Dutch brewer Heineken three weeks to take down beer ads from its French website
PARIS, February 16, 2008 - A French court on Thursday ruled it illegal to
advertise alcoholic drinks on the Internet, giving the Dutch brewer Heineken
three weeks to take down beer ads from its French website.
Confirming a lower court decision, the Paris court of appeal upheld a plea
from a French anti-alcoholism body that Heineken was in breach of the
so-called Evin Law, which outlawed alcohol adverts on television in 1991.
Under the law, alcohol adverts are only allowed in the print media, on the
radio and in sales outlets.
Heineken had argued that the telephone -- and by extension the Internet --
was not covered by the ban.
But the court agreed with the National Association for the Prevention of
Alcoholism and Addiction (ANPAA) that alcohol ads on the Internet -- since not
explicitly allowed under the law -- were illegal.
During the Rugby World Cup last year, Heineken was ordered to remove
branded banners displayed outside Paris bars and cafes because they infringed
the Evin Law, which also bans advertising alcohol via an association with