Book claims that some job applicants said they were subject to a "crash test" in which they had to drink up to 20 shots of the pastis before they were given a job at Pernod Ricard.

Guy Brighton
  • 21 july 2011

PLEASE NOTE: Add your own commentary here above the horizontal line, but do not make any changes below the line. (Of course, you should also delete this text before you publish this post.)

This article titled “Pernod loses legal challenge over staff drink test claim” was written by Kim Willsher in Paris, for The Guardian on Wednesday 20th July 2011 17.20 UTC

A French court has rejected an attempt by the drinks company Pernod Ricard to censor a book that claimed potential sales staff were expected to prove they could hold their drink by knocking back glasses of its celebrated anise-flavoured drink.

Some job applicants said they were subject to a “crash test” in which they had to drink up to 20 shots of the pastis before they were given the job.

The allegations are contained in the book Dealer Légal by the French journalist Max Coder, who spoke to several company employees.

The court of appeal upheld an earlier judgment that declared Coder had acted in good faith when he described how potential employees were expected to show they could hold their drink. Pernod Ricard had claimed defamation and sought €500,000 in damages.

Coder spoke to Ricard staff sent to promotional events where they claimed they were expected to “drink or make [others] drink”.

His book included an interview with Franck Daniel, a former salesman, who said the company’s attitude was: “The more one sold the more one was paid, and the more you were drinking the more you sold.”

One potential recruit told Coder they had been forced to drink “around 10 Ricard in the bar of the company restaurant”.

“I asked myself, had I impressed my bosses with my capacity to take it and recover,” said another, adding: “But if my job was really about boozing, it was best to take a break from time to time to keep going.”

Another said being able to drink was “an unwritten but real criteria for getting the job”, and that sales staff were advised to book a hotel room, paid for by the company, if they were too drunk to return home.

In its defence, the company said it had published a memo to its sales staff stipulating that “the excessive consumption of alcohol is not and should not be, here at Ricard, an attitude that leads to professional success”.

The court of appeal said this advice did not go far enough in outlining the alcohol limits and said those sued in the complaint should be given “the benefit of [having acted in] good faith”.

Pernod Ricard was ordered to pay €2,000 legal costs to the author and co-author of Dealer Légal, the editor and a company salesperson quoted in the book.

The French drinks giant was created from the Pernod Fils firm that produced absinthe, the celebrated but allegedly deadly drink favoured by Toulouse Lautrec, Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde in the late 19th century. Absinthe, nicknamed the Green Fairy, was banned in France in 1915. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Published via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Design & Architecture Today

3D-Printed Creations Resemble Floating Paper Outlines

Japanese design firm Nendo's exhibition features works that look like sheets of material being folded, torn, and crumpled

Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Technology october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online

Related Expert

Noreen Chadha

Travel & New Luxury

Gaming & Play october 21, 2016

Nintendo’s New Console Pushes For Portable Gaming

The Switch allows gamers to seamlessly play on the go by themselves or with friends

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 20, 2016

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Work october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

No search results found.