BUENOS AIRES – Associations in Argentina’s wine sector on Wednesday appealed the law prohibiting the advertisement of alcoholic beverages on the streets of Buenos Aires, calling it “unfair” to equate wine with other spirits and claiming that the product is part of the country’s cultural heritage.
The Argentine Winemaking Corporation (Coviar) presented an appeal of the ad ban on the basis of unconstitutionality to the city’s Superior Court and to the federal judiciary asking for review of the law seeking to discourage alcohol consumption among minors and warning about the negative effects of drinking to excess.
At a press conference, Coviar president Hilda Wilhelm said that she agreed with encouraging responsible alcohol consumption, but she urged public education on the matter instead of prohibition.
Wilhelm emphasized that restricting advertising threatens the marketing of wine and insisted that the regulation, which was only recently approved, “very harshly burdens” a sector that creates 120,000 direct jobs.
In addition, the Coviar chief reminded the court of the law recognizing wine as Argentina’s National Beverage given that it constitutes part of the country’s culture and tradition and the fact that Argentina is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of wine.
In the opinion of the president of the Wineries of Argentina organization, Walter Bressia, wine is a “noble product, ever linked to the family and to gastronomy” and does not figure in the evening parties of young people.
Bressia emphasized that studies show the positive effects wine consumption has on health and asked authorities to differentiate this sector from that of hard liquor or other alcoholic beverages.
Regarding the outlook for 2017, Bressia said that if weather conditions remain stable an “excellent” grape harvest is expected after a “difficult” 2016.