French MPs adopt amendment to ban Black Friday publicity

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By Lauren Chadwick
French MPs adopt amendment to ban Black Friday publicity
Copyright  REUTERS/Phil Noble

French parliamentarians passed an amendment in committee that aims to ban publicity campaigns for "Black Friday".

The amendment to France's "anti-waste law" condemns overconsumption and critiques the shopping day's "disastrous environmental record".

"'Black Friday' is a vast glory operation of consumerism imported from the United States in 2013," the amendment's summary reads, adding that it's "based on the advertising value of overconsumption".

In the United States, Black Friday is the name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day and is seen as the start of the holiday shopping season. Stores often give large discounts and this advert campaign has since spread globally.

But there are two periods of sales annually in France which are designated by the law for six weeks in winter and in summer.

The amendment states that the publicity for "Black Friday" makes it seem like the consumer "benefits from a price reduction comparable to the sales defined by [the law]" when they actually don't.

Matthieu Orphelin, a French MP in the National Assembly, tweeted that the amendment had been adopted by a "large majority to combat the abusive practices of #BlackFriday!"

"Stop overconsumption and communications that mislead consumers," he added.

The amendment was brought forth by former ecology minister Delphine Batho and passed by the committee on sustainable development.

It's an effort that could gain support in France.

A French shoe company said this month that it had enlisted at least 600 French stores and brands to boycott Black Friday, creating a collective they're calling "Make Friday Green Again".

A committee passed the amendment on Monday night and it will now be considered by France's lower house of Parliament, the National Assembly.

That means it will not affect this year's "Black Friday" publicity but if passed, could impact years to come.