Loi Evin: 20 years on


David-Irving Tayer and Benjamin Martin-Tardivat

On January 10, 1991, France passed a law in the fight against smoking and alcoholism. This law, ‘Loi Evin’, was named after health minister Claude Evin and inserted in the French Public Health Code.

The law has been modified from time to time to adapt itself to the changing market—the most recent amendments occurred in 2004 and 2011. The aim of the law is to regulate or prohibit advertising of alcoholic and tobacco products. The law stipulates:

  • For tobacco products, that: “Any propaganda or publicity, direct or indirect, of tobacco or tobacco products and free distribution is prohibited. Any sponsorship is forbidden when it has the purpose or effect of propaganda or direct or indirect advertising of tobacco or tobacco products”; and
  • For alcoholic products, that advertising is authorised only in certain kinds of publication, with specific disclaimers (eg, “alcohol abuse is dangerous for health”), and that this applies even to packaging without the presence of the trademark.

    (Among the authorised publications we note the introduction of online publications from bodies established outside the European Union or the European Economic Area, as long as the publications are not essentially aimed at the European market. This provision was introduced in the middle of the last decade.)

The law was passed with a view to protecting consumers and young people, and the impact on trademarks was not considered at that time.

‘Loi Evin’ and trademarks

Loi Evin, tobacco, Claude Evin, Dyptique, alcohol