UFC Que Choisir. 60 years of lobbying in favor of consumerism

Funny word that "consumerism" in a society that complains of consumerism and its consequences. Yet it is the one that best defines the UFC Que Choisir Association which is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary. Everywhere in France through its local delegations and its 160,000 members, the association tirelessly defends consumers in their rights by acting as a lobby. The word does not move unduly Alain Bazot, law professor and president of the structure which tells in an article published this morning in Ouest-France that "UFC writes itself of amendment s" turnkey "for targeted parliamentarians, because we know the "interested, competent and influential." This was the case for Lagarde Credit Act. Basically, says Alain Bazot without bragging, "political love us. We bring them the expertise they do not have. They know what we weigh, and that we are neither pro-government or in opposition. Our only angle is consumerism. "


In an editorial on the occasion of the International Consumer Day, Alain Bazot reminds missions of its association and the "relevance of the four basic consumer rights, set out in 1962 by President Kennedy to the United States Congress: the right to safety, the right to information, the right to choose and the right to be heard. "Consumers, when JFK said, are the largest economic group, affecting and being affected by almost every public and private economic decisions. Yet they are the only important group whose views are often not heard. "Far from being outdated, the formula is more relevant than ever. Indeed, the consumerist cause is now shipwrecked. The disengagement of the State in its sovereign missions serving the consumer is obvious, whether the refusal to make rules, enforce them by favoring self-regulation by companies or generalized mediation instead of public justice. Faced with this, it is important to live a real power-cons consumerist, able to collect and refloat the rights of consumers. "

What actions?

The association has become "anti-lobby lobbies" highlighting many issues of concern to consumers: the overtaxation of calls, charges for termination of Internet operators, bank charges, credit-revolving and multitude of food surveys, consumer products ...

The methods used are conventional.

  • Social networks with viral videos like Gerard Toufaux. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xh36es or blog president of the association.
  • The monthly journals with the UFC Que Choisir, 500,000 readers who publish independent comparative tests and studies like this on marketing food products for children.
  • Lawsuits recalling the need for class actions in French, these legal proceedings may be conducted by a third party on behalf of several complainants.
  • Street-marketing operations. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xhmzpa
  • Consumer representation in various bodies such as hospital boards, the regional economic and social councils (CESR), the debt commissions ... or at commissions of inquiry, here in the Senate.
  • The meetings with the press, as here during - Setting direct cause and straightforward. It sometimes requires a reasoned reply from the companies in question. This is the case here with this video of Akerys group. YouTube Preview Image

The existence and agility of this association can not hide the desert that reigns in the field of consumer rights including the fight often resembles that of the earthen pot against the iron pot of industries with far more powerful ways. By mobilizing public opinion, through its magazines and its positions, UFC Que Choisir shows that the issue of lobbies is that of a balance of power and power-cons than their very existence. Thus also parliamentary questions about what they intend to put in place so that the voice of consumers are also heard that the firms.

Mikaël Cabon

  • email