Bordeaux's mayor has written to France's prime minister demanding an end to the current ban on internet wine publicity for the sake of the EUR11bn industry.

"We are the only wine producing country not to include the internet as an authorised support for communicating about our products," mayor Alain Juppé said in his letter, dated Friday 26 September.

His comments come amid rumours of the collapse of the government's working group in charge of devising a framework for alcoholic drinks publicity on the web.

"No consensus could be found, and the group is finished," a source close to negotiations told just-drinks today. The source, who refused to be named, said it was now up to France's president and prime minister to salvage a solution from the working group's four differing proposals.

The most restrictive of these, leaked this summer to several publications, including just-drinks, would set limits for drinks publicity on the web similar to those applied to pornography. Industry critics say this would effectively kill off drinks websites.

The least restrictive would legalise the web as a medium for alcohol publicity within limits already defined by law. No one in the government could be reached for comment this afternoon (29 September).