Over the years EASA has produced a number of position papers on several issues. Below are extracts of the latest ones. Full position papers can be released to interested people upon request.
Audiovisual Media Services Directive
At the end of November 2007 the European Parliament adopted the new ‘Audiovisual Media Services’ (AMS) Directive, marking the conclusion of work on the Directive. The AMS Directive updates the 1989 ‘Television without Frontiers’ Directive – the centre-piece of advertising regulation in the EU. The new Directive will make EU broadcasting laws ‘future-proof” in the face of rapid technological developments, notably in the field of advertising, and is the first directive to formally recognize advertising self-regulation as a useful policy tool. This paper explains the provisions of the directive which bear relation to advertising self-regulation, and what potential impact this may have. More information on the AVMS Directive can be found here.
Digital Marketing Communications
The Digital Marketing Communications Best Practice published in October 2008 offers advice and support to EASA’s national SRO and industry members on the application of self-regulation to Digital Marketing Communications (DMCs). More specifically it explains in what ways SROs can extend the remit of their advertising codes, if they have not already done so, to include DMCs. More information on DMCs can be found here.
Product placement (PP) is not a concept which is traditionally covered by the self-regulatory systems across Europe. This is in part due to a variety of practical considerations within the self-regulatory organisations (SROs), but also political disagreement at national and European level as to who should be dealing with it (even as to whether PP should be permitted at all), and if so how it should be defined. This paper attempts to explain how PP functions, and what issues SROs may encounter if they were to be involved with PP review.
Environmental sustainability refers to the environmental actions or impacts of society, which is predominantly the focus of advertising self-regulatory codes across Europe. In moving towards sustainability, society attempts to reduce its ecological footprint, which in principle equates to reducing the amount of resources used, and waste and emissions produced. This position paper sets out in what ways self-regulatory organisations (SROs) are currently faced with sustainability related complaints, how self-regulatory codes relate to existing (self) regulatory initiatives, and possible actions for SROs and industry to take.
At the moment (mid-2010), most self-regulatory organisations (SROs) do not cover event sponsorship in their codes. At best they review ‘events’ in relation to advertising for those events, rather than the commercial message of the event itself. For example, an ad showing a picture of a car racing event where the cars are sponsored by alcohol companies would as such not be in violation of any self-regulation code, as this type of sponsorship practice is permitted by legislation In order to address this ‘gap’, EASA and European Sponsorship Association (ESA) have agreed to set up an arbitration panel involving both organisations to give advice following a consumer complaint. ESA will remain the competent body to handle event sponsorship related consumer complaints, however EASA will provide the arbitration panel with input, based on the national SR Code. The paper outlines the structures of this panel.
Unfair Commercial Practices Directive
The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, which was due to be transposed into national legislation across Europe by June 2007 was developed with the aim of enhancing consumer protection across Europe by outlawing dubious business practices (BtoC). Unfortunately the directive contains a number of uncertainties which may have a direct impact on the functioning of advertising SR. This paper details a number of the Directive’s provisions, and in what way EASA feels they should be interpreted. More information on the UCP Directive can be found here.