I’m too sexy for my wine…too sexy for the French

How in the world does this happen??

A good looking woman may not be shown in an advertisement in France for Bordeaux because she’s "too sexy".

The French courts, in league with the anti-alcohol nuts, determined that the ad showing Catherine Gachet, a mother and vintner, was simply too sexy to pass the stringent French laws governing how alcohol can be promoted. So, another picture of her was shot with the glass of wine just a bit further from her mouth, while her "come hither" smile was replaced by an "I-can’t-believe-the-photographer-ask-me-to-look-dorky" smile.

What interests me more than the complete and total sphincter-tightening ruling on the part of the courts are the actual legal arguments that must have been made in order to convince the judge the shot shouldn’t be allowed to spread across the French media.

I want to hear the explanation as to why Mme. Gachet’s smile is simply too enticing to be allowed to show up on billboards across France.

The French law upon which the health crazies based their arguments against the Gachet head shot states that promotional materials can only present "objective characteristics" in the promotion of alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, it bans any use of "qualitative" material. Basically, you can’t say "hey, this is really good wine." Ads may not suggest the drink will bring pleasure, produce desire, make you happy, make you more beautiful, or make you less thirsty. Even the use of professional models is banned by the law affecting alcoholic beverages. The Bordeaux wine producers got around this by using the image of a vintner. Nevertheless, it appears the look on Mme Gauchet’s face would have produced some sort of overwhelming desire among the French, and even suggested that there was some sort of pleasure associated with Bordeaux.

Ryan over at Vine Sugar has the story along with a good link.

Posted In: Culture and Wine


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