Originally planned for the launch of the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France this month, two prevention campaigns on the dangers of alcohol were rebutted by the former Minister of Health François Braun and his cabinet last May, according to the information of the Radio France investigation unit, published Monday September 11. The government justifies this decision by targeting deemed unsatisfactory, when addiction specialists deplore it and question the role of the alcohol lobby in this decision.
According to the radio, the General Directorate of Health had asked, in November 2022, Public Health France (SPF) to work on an “alcohol and rugby” campaign, with a view to holding the World Cup in France, which began on September 8. Presented in May to the ministry, one with the slogan “Don’t let alcohol knock you out” was rebutted a few weeks later according to Radio France, when another, called “When we drink heavily, our health takes a hit”was also stored, according to the ertions of the Chained duck dating from mid-July.
Information confirmed to Agence France-Presse (AFP) Monday September 11, by a source close to the matter, on the grounds that the campaigns were not convincing: “The two campaigns were not validated in the end because the creative proposal was not suitable. In rugby, the World Cup is an opportunity to talk positively about sport and physical activity, rather than transmitting a message that is more of a cliché about the “third half”. »
The influence of the alcohol lobby in question
But Radio France evokes another reason: the repercussion, from the cabinet of Emmanuel Macron to that of François Braun, of the influence of the alcohol industry. Contacted by AFP on Monday, Vin et Société, an organization defending the interests of viticulture mentioned in the investigation by its investigation unit, did not wish to comment.
“In the context of a significant number of campaigns carried out by the State and its operators, including SPF, in the second half of 2023, it was decided to review the priorities on the alcohol theme and to prioritize the young target”, the ministry told AFP again on Monday. A campaign on the risks of alcohol, aimed at this target, will therefore be launched ” end of September “.
By the end of 2023, “the SPF Alcool info service website will be strengthened in order to improve guidance and personalized help for users”he added, insisting on “a strong commitment [du gouvernement] in the fight against addictions ».
But for the Addictions ociation France, “prevention campaigns aimed at young people or pregnant women do not bother alcoholics, because they are targeted”unlike campaigns targeting the general population, as Myriam Savy, its advocacy director, declared to Radio France.
Since his arrival at the Elysée, Emmanuel Macron has been accused several times of complacency towards the alcohol industry, particularly by those involved in the fight against addiction.
The World with AFP