Blog: Driving insane
Chris Brook-Carter | 18 November 2003
The move has come after sales of wine in French restaurants registered a 15% drop following the latest drink-driving campaign by the French authorities. In response, the trade organisation Afivin plans to launch a $350,000 initiative, the purpose of which is to convince motorists that they don't have to stop drinking altogether.
Some of the suggestions made by the national wine producers' association are credible – the idea of supplying restaurants with breathalyser tests in particular. But, in general, this is a misjudged marketing effort.
So wildly do the effects of alcohol vary person-to-person and even day-to-day on the same person that these French campaigners are treading on very dangerous ground suggesting that, even in moderation, it is acceptable to have a drink and get behind a wheel.
"In case of doubt, the easiest way to be sure you don't break the limit is to refrain from drinking," said Transport Ministry spokeswoman Emmanuelle Dormond, quite rightly.
But this case once more highlights the archaic attitude so many French producers have towards selling their wine. From subsidies for over-production to the dismissive nature with which competitors from the New World are viewed, French winemaking still suffers from over-inflated opinion of its own importance.
"People are so afraid of the police these days that they're not drinking any wine at all," said Pascal Bobillier-Monnot, director of France's national wine producers' association, as if this is in some way a bad thing for anyone using France's roads.
Some people in India believe alcohol should be more difficult to purchase. Last month, the state of Bihar halted all alcohol sales as its chief minister made good on an election promise. ...
Greetings from Zurich. Here as a guest of Heineken's Amstel brand, I'm due to sit down later today with the group's senior global director for international brands, Walter Drenth....
Drinks companies spend a lot of money on trying to predict trends. At last night's Worshipful Company of Distillers City debate, any strategists in the audience got a bit of forecasting for free....
I'll admit to being partial to an Aperol Spritz now and again, more usually in the summer months, sitting outside, shades on, slowly turning more golden/rusty....
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