France, which faced advertisers’ fury by refusing to relax its
alcohol ad ban even for the World Cup, may be told by the EU that the
restrictions can stay.
In what would be a body blow to a European single market for commercial
free speech, the EU’s legal service is believed to have decided to take
no action against both the so-called Loi Evin or Greece’s restrictions
on toy advertising.
Reports of a climbdown have outraged industry lobbyists who fear it will
encourage European countries to operate ad restrictions in defiance of a
single market policy and lead to new ad curbs.
The Commission was due to meet on Thursday to decide whether to continue
legal action against the French and Greek governments.
Andrew Brown, director-general of Britain’s Advertising Association, has
written to Lord Simon, the minister for trade and competitiveness in
Europe, urging the UK Government to try to stop the cases being dropped.