French court rules online alcohol ads illegal
PARIS, February 16, 2008 - A French court on Thursday ruled it illegal toadvertise alcoholic drinks on the Internet, giving the Dutch brewer Heinekenthree weeks to take down beer ads from its French website. Confirming a lower court decision, the Paris court of appeal upheld a pleafrom a French anti-alcoholism body that Heineken was in breach of theso-called Evin Law, which outlawed alcohol adverts on television in 1991. Under the law, alcohol adverts are only allowed in the print media, on theradio 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 ofAlcoholism and Addiction (ANPAA) that alcohol ads on the Internet -- since notexplicitly allowed under the law -- were illegal. During the Rugby World Cup last year, Heineken was ordered to removebranded banners displayed outside Paris bars and cafes because they infringedthe Evin Law, which also bans advertising alcohol via an association withsports.