Debate about Evian tweet on first day of Ramadan

"Retweet if you've drunk a litre of Evian today," the French mineral water company tweeted on 13 April, the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Some users were offended and complained about racism. This in turn has provoked Islamophobic reactions, escalating the debate. Evian then felt compelled to apologise. The French press looks on in disbelief.

Open/close all quotes
Le Figaro (FR) /

Submission to Islamism

Companies like Evian are allowing themselves to be led by the nose, sociologist Mathieu Bock-Côté rails in Le Figaro:

“Evian believed it could prevent a crisis and was counting on calming the waves through repentance. But now it's displaying a slavish reflex, a willingness to submit to a power now considered to have the authority to determine what is acceptable and what is not. The commentators who are content to see Evian's apologies as an appeasement strategy are willfully blind to the political significance of this issue, which on a symbolic level means a transfer of sovereignty over national territory, with French culture increasingly making way for - supposedly - Muslim culture.”

Le Point (FR) /

Storm in a teacup

If we read so much into ads for water soon everything will be blown out of proportion, Le Point scoffs:

“After the attack on monuments, now comes the attack on bottles! Why not attack the Vichy brand of water? ... One can't help remembering the injunctions of our parents and grandparents: 'Drink!', 'You should drink more!' ... Do these health tips have an ulterior motive? Are they driven by a secret reactionary political agenda? ... We've taken another look at the Evian advertising campaigns. After all, they're about purity. ... And then the appeal to be slim! Very close to fat-phobia! Putting all these babies on display is inviting people to have children. And thus to further destroy the planet.”