Heineken has been hit by legal action in France thanks to some of its Rugby World Cup-related advertising.

On Friday (14 September), a French court upheld a complaint against Heineken by the National Association for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Addiction (ANPAA) which claimed that banner adverts featuring a glass of beer and the word Heineken on them contravened controls on drinks advertising laid down by the 1991 Evin Law.

The judge said if the company did not comply it would face fines of EUR5,000 (US$6,937) per infraction.

A spokesperson for Heineken International in Holland told just-drinks today that it will remove the banners from about 250 outlets in Paris.

"We have 48 hours to do so from the moment we receive the legal paperwork, which we did at 12 noon today," the spokesperson said.

President of ANPAA, Alain Rigaud, said this morning that he was considering what further action to take on two other charges ANPAA brought against Heineken which were not upheld -­ that it was breaking the Evin Law by sponsoring the World Cup in France, and by advertising on Rugby World Cup internet sites.