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FRANCE: MPs overturn online wine advertising ban

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French MPs have voted to amend controversial health law proposals, to allow alcohol advertising online on all websites except those aimed at young people.

Also in last night's (9 March) vote, MPs overturned a ruling that open bars for the under 25s were to be illegal, amending the wording to specifically allow for professional tastings at chateaux, wine fairs and traditional festivals.

A third area of dispute - the sale of alcohol in service stations - reached a compromise, where sales will be allowed during the hours of 8am to 6pm, but not at night.

Damien Bonnabel, of the association Vin et Web, said: "The anti-alcohol lobby will take this as a victory for the wine industry but it is simply bringing things back into balance. The idea that the Evin Law [which governs alcohol publicity] should not be updated to reflect today's realities was absurd."

The legislative proposals are part of the French government's plan to curb excess alcohol consumption. They must yet be approved by the Senate and signed off by the president before they become law.


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