Movendi International, February 2023

In early January, the Paris Court ordered the Meta group (parent company of Facebook and Instagram) to remove 37 posts deemed illegal on Instagram. These posts had been published by about twenty different influencers, all of them accumulating nearly 5 million followers. They have been deemed in violation of the Loi Evin because the posts improperly promote alcoholic beverages. In addition to ordering the withdrawal of the publications, the judge ordered Meta to communicate the contact details of their authors to Addictions France so that they themselves could be prosecuted.

Influencer alcohol promotion, exposed by Addictions France

A historic victory against online alcohol sponsorship

For 18 months, Addictions France has been contacting influencers who publish posts on social media that promote alcohol brands. The objective was first of all to make them aware of public health issues but also to remind them of the existence of the Evin’s law (Loi Evin) and to achieve the withdrawal of harmful content.

While some influencers were sensitive to the process, others did not respond or simply refused to recognize the illegality of their publications.

The ‘Loi Evin’can be summarised in the following way:

  • A clear definition of alcoholic beverages is given: All alcoholic drinks over 1.2% alcohol by volume are considered alcoholic beverages.
  • Places and media where advertising is authorised are defined.
  • No alcohol advertising should target young people;
  • No alcohol advertising is allowed on television or in cinemas;
  • No alcohol sponsorship of cultural or sport events is permitted.
  • Alcohol advertising is permitted only in the press for adults, on billboards, on radio channels (under precise conditions), at special events or places such as wine fairs or wine museums. When advertising is permitted, its content is regulated:
    • Messages and images should refer only to the qualities of the products such as degree, origin, composition, means of production, patterns of consumption;
    • A health message must be included on each advertisement, such as “l’abus d’alcool est dangereux pour la santé” (the abuse of alcohol is dangerous for health).

Recent scientific analysis found that regulating alcohol advertising content comprehensively, as per France’s Évin law in 1991 or similar measures in other countries, is an effective policy solutions for protecting vulnerable young people. Scientists found that the French Évin Law reduces the attractiveness of alcohol for young people.

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