The Chinese subsidiary of Pernod Ricard has been slapped a fine by Chinese authorities for showing acts of drinking Martell Cognac in a video ad promoted through WeChat, the second case involving an international beverage giant following Castel Frères’ blunder.
Pernod Ricard China was slapped with a RMB 160,000 (US$25,000) fine by market watchdog in Shanghai after it was found that the company placed a video advertisement featuring Martell cognac, in which it showed actions of alcohol consumption.
In China, alcohol-related advertisements can’t encourage or feature the act of alcohol consumption. Violation could lead up to RMB 1 million (US$156,000) fine.
This is not the first time the French drinks giant was fined over ads in China. In July 2020, the company was fined by Shanghai authorities for RMB 300,000 (US$46,890) for alcohol related ad violation.
China’s advertising law was amended in 2015 to strictly regulate contents related to wine and other alcoholic beverages. It prohibits ads from encouraging or featuring acts of drinking or any activities that involve driving while operating cars, vessels or aircrafts.
Additionally, ads must not show that drinking helps to relieve pressure, anxiety or tiredness, expressly or implied.
Violation of these advertising rules would be immediately deleted and fined up to RMB 1 million. Companies would also risk losing their business license.