French MPs target Black Friday advertising ban
The Black Friday shopping season is here, but it could be one of the last in France following the proposition of a ban on advertising for the event.
French members of Parliament approved on Monday the addition of an amendment supporting a ban of Black Friday advertising to a proposed “anti-waste” bill that is set to be debated on 9 December.
The amendment would ban advertising campaigns for Black Friday. According to French reports, these mislead consumers into thinking they are benefiting from sales, when in fact Black Friday does not take place during France’s strictly regulated sales periods, in January and July.
If the ban was approved, any author of such a campaign would be subject to two years in prison and a fine of up to 300,000 euros.
Proposed by independent MP Delphine Batho, the amendment is in line with the rise in global support for the environmental movement, which has aimed to reduce overconsumption in an attempt to fight the climate crisis.
French minister for ecological transition, Elisabeth Borne, told BFM Business: “We can’t simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions and call for a consumption frenzy. Most of all, we should consume carefully.”
If approved, the French law would come into force next year.
Many French retailers have already taken a stand by boycotting Black Friday sales this season. A collective of 600 brands are leading the charge with the movement “make Friday green again”, launched by apparel brand Faguo, arguing that Black Friday damages both the environment and workers' rights.
Black Friday was launched in France seven years, compared to the U.S. where it kicked off in the 1950s.
Despite the push against the shopping period, according to a RetailMeNot study, Black Friday this year is still expected to generate €5.9 billion in France, an increase of 4.1 percent compared to 2018.
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