Escaping the everyday: The Loi Évin’s paradoxical sanctioning of appeals to travel and intoxication

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Journal Article
French Cultural Studies, 2018, 29 (1), pp. 79 - 92
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© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017. Although designed to mitigate the normalising role that advertising can have on alcohol consumption, France’s Loi Évin (1991) has unwittingly channelled advertisers into reinforcing the link between their products and escapist pursuits. Where contemporary concerns about alcohol consumption in France have themselves been influenced by global trends in public health and alcohol studies, they revolve around the adoption of perceived ‘foreign’ drinking cultures, notably an embrace of drinking as a marker of leisure time and binge-drinking. Advertising strategies have accordingly countered by accentuating both leisure, in the form of travel, and intoxication. A visual semiotic analysis of recent French advertising campaigns for spirits and beer reveals layered signification of escapist themes, all in defiance of the spirit but not the letter of the Loi Évin.
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