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April 1, 2003

US: NY Times ad calls for French boycott

Wines and spirits figure prominently on a list of 100 French goods which a recent ad in the New York Times urges Americans to boycott because of France's stance in Iraq. The ad was entitled "Boycott France !" and carried a photo of French president Jacques Chirac. It singled out renowned French and French-owned brands such as Moet, Bollinger, Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicqoit, Jacobs Creek, Wild Turkey (both Pernod Ricard), Evian, Martel Cognac, Hennessy, Jameson, Glenlivet and Chivas Regal.

Wines and spirits figure prominently on a list of 100 French goods which a recent ad in the New York Times urges Americans to boycott because of France’s stance in Iraq.


The ad was entitled “Boycott France !” and carried a photo of French president Jacques Chirac. It singled out renowned French and French-owned brands such as Moet, Bollinger, Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicqoit, Jacobs Creek, Wild Turkey (both Pernod Ricard), Evian, Martel Cognac, Hennessy, Jameson, Glenlivet and Chivas Regal.


Commenting on the boycott call, a Pernod Ricard official said it risked penalising Americans and the US economy as 80% of the products it sells in the US are made there. The French group’s Wild Turkey Bourbon is made from largely US maize so to boycott it would hit jobs and also farmers in the US.


On top of that he said that Pernod Ricard posts the vast majority of its sales outside of France and mainly in countries that are part of the pro-war coalition against Iraq.


Indeed one of the products, a French-origin vodka was withdrawn from the boycott list when it was found to be produced by a US firm


There is still little evidence to suggest the boycott call is getting through to US consumers on a significant scale. But, French exporters to the US, the French Embassy and the French government are watching developments extremely closely, and indeed a monitoring unit has been set up to do just that.

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