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Published:  23 July, 2008

The row over wine advertising in France was reignited last week, after details of a report outlining French Government plans to reduce alcohol consumption in France by 20% before 2009 were leaked to the French newspaper, Libration. According to Libration, the report by the MILDT (the Inter-Ministerial Campaign for the Fight against Drugs and Drug Abuse) also suggests that wine consumption in France would drop by 50% by 2008 if there continues to be strict enforcement' of the anti-alcohol advertising legislation, the Loi Evin. The leak was an embarrassment for French PM Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who, in a meeting with senior wine industry figures at the end of last month, had made assurances that he would seek a reworking' of the text of the Loi Evin, to permit advertising by generic bodies. French Agriculture Minister Herv Gaymard had also suggested that the Government was softening its approach to the issue at a meeting between 450 industry representatives and 100 French MPs at the beginning of March. Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux (CIVB) committee member, and Maison Sichel MD Allan Sichel, who was at the meeting with Gaymard, told Harpers that the substance of the leaked report was very disappointing', but added that it was not surprising. Sichel said: At the meeting, Gaymard had said he was very sympathetic, and listened to all that was put to him, but he added that there was no going back on the Loi Evin and that he couldn't make firm commitments.'