Once registered, you can:

  • - Read additional free articles each month
  • - Comment on articles and featured creative work
  • - Get our curated newsletters delivered to your inbox

By registering you agree to our privacy policy, terms & conditions and to receive occasional emails from Ad Age. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Are you a print subscriber? Activate your account.


By Published on .

France's Constitutional Council has delivered a message to Culture Minister Jacques Toubon, the author of a proposed ban on the use of English in advertising: "Just don't do it."

The bill, making French obligatory in all official business and government communications, had looked certain to become law this month after breezing through Parliament.

Marketers with English-language slogans like Nike's "Just do it" and Coca-Cola Co.'s "Always" were already rethinking their ad strategies.

But the council, a group that reviews any legislation before it takes effect, on July 30 deemed the law incompatible with the French Constitution's guarantee of free expression.

"The Constitutional Council didn't want the government to legislate on what language should be," said Vincent Negre, Lintas Paris chairman. "We thought [the law] was plain ridiculous."

Mr. Toubon, sometimes mockingly called Mr. Allgood-the English translation of his name-may not be admitting defeat. He said in a French TV interview that the council's ruling is just "a technical setback."

Most Popular
In this article: