Professeur Reynaud trying to hold back the waves
of social media
These are busy times for the lunatic fringes of the French wine industry. First, there is the revival of the 2009 plan to ban the blending of red and white to make rosé anywhere in Europe. (Apart from Champagne, presumably).
Then there was the proposal – by Professeur Reynaud* in a report to the French government on Les stratégies validées de réduction des dommages liés aux addictions (valid strategies to reduce the damage caused by addictions) that internet promotion of wine be no longer authorised, particularly through social media.
Setting aside the worrying state-control-of-media flavour of terms like “authorise”, there is also the question of how precisely the good Prof thinks he is going to achieve this particular objective. Will he ban French wine producers from having websites? And will he also ban websites “promoting” restaurants and wine museums that belong to wineries? Will he ban winery owners from having their own websites and blogs, or will he simply censor any mention of the evil alcohol from their contents? Will he take Chinese-style steps to block Gallic access to sites and blogs hosted on non-French servers? Will Twitter and Facebook be similarly censored? And will website addresses and QR Codes be banned from labels?
There is an online petition to combat the Reynaud plans, and you may feel you’d like to sign it. https://www.change.org/fr/p%C3%A9titions/sauvons-le-droit-d-expression-de-nos-vignerons On the other hand you may prefer to simply watch it wither and die…
*King Canute – or Cnut – is the 10th century king who is said – probably erroneously – to have tried to hold back the waves. Prof Reynaud is a psychiatrist and head of the dept of psychiatry and addiction at the Paul Brousse University-Hospital.