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Why French lawmakers want to ban Black Friday promotions


Why French lawmakers want to ban Black Friday promotions

Born in the United States, Black Friday has progressively been gaining
weight in France since 2013. It is a highly anticipated day during which
significant promotions are offered, not only in fashion but also in other
consumer products. In France, Black Friday is predicted to see a record 5.9
billion euros in spending this year, up 4 percent from 2018.

But is Black Friday synonymous with good deals? A price comparison study
conducted by the UFC-Que Choisir revealed that the average actual reduction
is, in fact, less than 2 percent, indicating that the shopping bonanza is
perhaps nothing more than an extravagant marketing ploy.

It was mainly on the basis of this study that French MPs and former
Minister of Ecology Delphine Batho brought a measure before the French
Parliament to end Black Friday in the country. It took the form of an
amendment to the anti-waste bill. The amendment, which also concerns Cyber
Monday, will be discussed in the National Assembly in December.

If the amendment is implemented in practice, Black Friday promotions
would be considered “aggressive commercial practices”, which under French
law is punishable with a two-year prison term and a 300,000 euro fine.

The war against overconsumption

French MPs’ move to end the shopping bonanza is a double-edged issue. On
the one hand, it is a pragmatic question of combating misleading
advertising and protecting the consumer against abusive practices; while at
the same time it is also about fighting against “over-consumption”. MP
Matthieu Orphelin, a former member of the LREM party, said:
“Black Friday celebrates a model of consumption that is anti-ecological and
anti-social.”

This statement is part of a growing societal movement. On Monday, on
French TV channel BFM, the French ecological transition minister Elisabeth
Borne also warned against the “consumption frenzy” associated with Black
Friday and criticized its impact on the environment. Several groups of
environmental activists have also planned to take action throughout France
on Friday, some even promising a major civil disobedience action in
Paris.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.NL,
translated and edited.

Photo credit: Pexels



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