Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Censorious French fanatics

See you in court

News from France's Cour de cassation (the highest French court)...

This case was introduced following the broadcast of a TV program consisting in filming, during a dinner, several guests from various backgrounds, which showed three famous persons smoking.

Both the broadcaster, the company managing the channel’s website (from which viewers could access the TV program by means of catch-up TV), and their directors, were sued on the grounds that the French public health code prohibits the propaganda and the advertising, direct or indirect, in favor of tobacco.

Sacré bleu!

The question that was asked to the Cour de cassation was  whether the showing of notorious people smoking in a TV program was to be considered as tobacco advertising.

The Court of appeal of Paris had decided that the broadcast of the sequences showing the guests smoking, action that could be interpreted as a moment of pleasure, participated to a promotion in favor of tobacco. The Court held that it was the case even though there was no additional comment to highlight this moment.

The Court of appeal also found that the sequences could have been deleted during the editing of the TV program, and that such deletion would not have affected the comprehensibility of the debates nor it would have violated the freedom of expression.

You really couldn't it up. Has the whole world been driven insane by the health gestapo?

Not quite the whole world, it seems...

However, the Cour de cassation did not follow the Court of appeal’s reasoning. It considered that the mere fact that persons were showed smoking during a TV program does not constitute advertising in favor of tobacco.
No kidding! The case needed to go to the highest court in the land to establish that?! How many lawyers got rich of this ludicrous court case? Who instigated it?

Bloody hell.

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