France: Parliament Considers Weakening ‘Loi Evin’ to “Help” Sports
The newest attack on France’s ‘Loi Evin’ is coming from the French parliament as some members of the Senate consider weakening this successful and evidence-based public health policy that bans alcohol advertising in order to “help” the sports industry to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
As Movendi International previously reported, France’s Evin Law is targeted specifically by Big Alcohol because this law is highly effective in regulating alcohol marketing in France since the 1990s.
Provisions of this law ban alcohol sponsorship of sports, restrict alcohol sale in sports stadiums and ban alcohol advertising on television. The advertising ban on television makes it impossible for Big Alcohol to advertise in pro-sports as they are broadcast on live television.
The Committee on Culture, Education and Communication of the Senate published a report on June 17, 2020, devoted to the study of the consequences of the COVID-19 health crisis in the sports sector, to the examination of the modalities of losening rules and the proposal of measures to support the economic recovery of the sector. Among these, the report suggests revisiting the Evin Law.
The commission, chaired by Catherine Morin-Desailly proposes to weaken the Evin Law. Specifically the report suggest to re-authorize alcohol sale and allow for alcohol advertising in sports arenas. The report proposes allowing football clubs to sell alcohol to supporters 10 times a year and allowing advertising and sale for alcohol except group 4 alcohol.
This is not the first time an attempt has been made to weaken the Evin Law. As Movendi International previously reported in August 2019, 105 members of the ruling party from the Parliament proposed a “supervised relaxation” of the Evin Law.
Sports sponsorship and sports advertising is a key strategy of the alcohol industry to promote alcohol to a young audience and recruit young consumers. Apart from sports and sports programmes being widely popular among young people and many youth emulating the role models of pro athletes, the alcohol industry uses sports to align their harmful brands with healthy, social activity to disguise the harm of alcohol and associate their brands with a host of positive values linked to sports.
It is ironic that the French parliament would consider health harmful marketing to overcome the economic repercussions of a public health crisis. The parliament must remember that they are elected to take decisions in the interest of all French people and not the private profit interests of the alcohol industry.