You can tell the world about your product, about why it tastes better or about how it was made, but in France at least, if you’re selling alcohol, that’s about all you can say.
You cannot imply that drinking makes life more fun. You cannot imply that alcohol is cool, or sophisticated or stylish or worldly and you cannot imply that by drinking alcohol you will become better looking, more likable or successful. In short, everything that American alcohol advertisers do – they cannot.
And the French enforce it too, recent rulings against Heineken and Moet Champagne for minor transgressions shows the teeth in this legislation of public health promotion.
And they’re smart to do so, as studies consistently and conclusively show that alcohol advertising does predispose kids to drink, and helps people feel OK about drinking to excess.
We shouldn’t ban alcohol advertising, but this time – the French have hit a home run, and we should have the courage to follow in their footsteps.