SRO NEWS
 
 
Portuguese Parliament adopts law banning ‘HFSS’ food advertising to children under 16  
 
On 15 March, the Portuguese Parliament adopted in plenary a bill banning ‘HFSS’ food advertising to children under the age of 16. The nutrition criteria used to determine what constitutes ‘HFSS’ food and beverage still need to be agreed. The Directorate-General for Health is mandated to adopt such criteria “taking into account recommendations of the WHO and the EU”.
 
The new law will become mandatory 60 days after publication and will be reviewed every five years. Breaches will be sanctioned with fines ranging from 1,750 to 45,000 euros.
 
Concretely the law sets out the following restrictions: 
Internet: ‘HFSS’ food ads cannot be placed in digital content aimed at under-16s, including websites, social media pages or apps.
TV: The ban applies during children’s programmes, as well as 30 minutes before and after the programmes where <16s make up at least 25% of the audience.
Outdoor: The ban applies to outdoor advertising within a 100-meter radius of kindergartens and schools up to middle school, but also parks or recreational venues destined for these age groups.
Schools: ‘HFSS’ food ads are banned up to middle schools, including in any sport, culture or recreational events organised by schools.
Creative execution: Celebrities, mascots and cartoons related to media aimed at <16s are banned for advertising purposes, but can be used on-pack. The bill makes no distinction between licensed and brand characters but does not mention the use of gifts or toys.
The bill also states that concerned parties can bind themselves to stricter rules through self- and co-regulatory commitments. An amendment that foresaw a role for self-regulation in the implementation of this law was rejected.
 
Maria João Gregório, Director of the National Program for the Promotion of Healthy Eating already announced plans to start the process of defining the nutrition criteria, and referred to the WHO Regional Office for Europe nutrient profile model. She emphasised that regulating food advertising to children was an “important area for promoting healthy habits” as “scientific evidence shows that there is a link between advertising and decisions in the food consumption of children”. 
 
 
 
Artificial Intelligence and Representation of Women and Men in TV/VOD Advertising
 
ARPP engages in one of the most unprecedented R&D processes in the world.
 
On the eve of 8 March 2019, International Women’s Day, ARPP unveiled unprecedented research and development on AI analysis of the female and male representation in all TV ads broadcast in France in 2018.
 
A full year of TV/VOD commercials analysed by artificial intelligence models
 
It has been shown that sample-based studies generalise global phenomena with limited examples. The smaller the sample (for example, two-weeks of ad production analysis), the larger the bias.
 
That is why ARPP decided to analyse, through simple criteria but on a larger scale, all the new TV ads broadcast in France in 2018. This came to a total of 21,387 different ads, which had been pre-cleared by ARPP, corresponding to 2,068 advertisers.
 
For one human being, this ad base would constitute a volume of 130 hours of commercials to watch, not counting the time devoted to the detection and classification of female/male faces, and then reporting the findings in a database, frame by frame, which made this task almost impossible to achieve.
 
With AI, can we do qualitative with quantitative analysis?
 
This is precisely the question that ARPP is trying to answer, thanks to a proof of concept (POC) which had the objective to test the contribution that these algorithms can represent in the detection and classification of women/men in ads reviewed for clearance by ARPP (for an overview of the state of play and the methodology followed by ARPP, read (in French) the full article).
 
At this stage, do the models reveal the presence of possible situations of gender stereotypes in TV-VOD advertising?
 
The answer is NO. Not for now, but this first step is necessary to achieve this potentially one day.
 
Thus, the scope of this first phase is the visual representation of genders in audiovisual advertising, based on the detection and classification of faces.
 
On the scientific level, ARPP was accompanied by a teacher researcher of MINES Paris Tech, Akin Kazakçi, in order to validate the methodology, the parameterisation of deep neural network models (deep learning) and the results of this study.
 
Up to now, this study remains quantitative, but ARPP is working to improve these models to eventually extract qualitative data, particularly on the distribution of roles between women and men.
 
A research and innovation process in constant progress
 
The exceptional nature of this project is also due to the algorithmic models used and their improvement for the specific needs of ARPP. Indeed, these have been specially adapted for the purposes of processing advertising films, characterised by high-quality images, unlike the images from public banks used to train publicly the algorithms.
 
The setting of the models implemented by ARPP for the analysis of advertising and their level of precision is, at ARPP's knowledge, unique today (read the full article).
 
The next steps in this proof of concept will be:
refining the items detectable (including the complete detection of the body, hairstyle, style of clothing, etc.)
an analysis of audio representation (detection/classification of female and male voices)
an extension of the study on qualitative criteria (on the occupied roles)
First indicators of human presence for 2018
 
These initial analyses, based on a corpus representing the whole audiovisual advertising production in 2018, show us, on the total duration of the films reviewed, that a proportion of 56.3% of these presents neither man nor women. Female presence was detected during 54.4% of the total time occupied by human beings.
 
ARPP will continue to work with its statutory bodies and its members (advertisers, agencies, media and sales houses) to exploit all the potentialities of its research and development in artificial intelligence as part of its mission to serve advertising in France.
 
 
 
UK Government consultation on further HFSS product ad restrictions
 
On 18 March, the UK Government announced a consultation on further restrictions for high fat, salt or sugar product advertising in the UK.  This is part of the government's wider obesity plan, which sets an ambitious goal of halving childhood obesity by 2030.  The proposals include: 
For TV: 
o 5.30am-9pm ban;
o a ladder of restrictions to incentivise reformulation based on how each product scores on the Nutrient Profile Model; or
o no TV ban.
For online: 
o 5.30am-9pm ban e.g. for banner and video ads (e.g. VoD), but recognise this would be difficult to implement in e.g. viral marketing, some influencer marketing;
o strengthen current CAP online ad restrictions e.g. where children make up 10% of the audience share rather than the current 25% rule;
o a mixture of options to reflect different types of advertising and platforms; or
o no government intervention.
Other: the consultation asks if further ad restrictions should be applied to cinema, radio, print, outdoor, direct marketing and any other area.
The ASA and CAP will be working to develop a response over the next few months. 
 
Further information about the consultation is available here.
 
APPG on Gambling Related Harms Inquiry
 
The Gambling Related Harms APPG has launched an inquiry into the impact of online gambling.  All Party Parliamentary Groups are cross-party groups where MPs and Peers come together relatively informally to discuss a specific issue of concern.  Members of the public, civil society organisations, businesses also participate in the discussions. 
 
The terms of reference for the inquiry includes ‘the impact of social media and online advertising’.  We have submitted a written response to the inquiry and we’ve been invited to give oral evidence on the regulatory and policy landscape in July.
 
Further information about the inquiry is available here.
 
Enforcement action on ads claiming to cure autism
 
Our Compliance team has issued an Enforcement Notice to 150 CEASE Therapists in the UK who claim to cure or treat autism – a life-long condition; not a disease.
 
CEASE Therapy (Complete Elimination of Autistic Spectrum Expression) supposedly involves the removal of ‘toxic imprints’ caused by vaccines, toxic medications and other toxic substances and some diseases.  However, the claims have no scientific credibility.
 
The Enforcement Notice sets out clearly that CEASE Therapists cannot make direct or implied efficacy claims in their ads, including on their own websites.  Those failing to comply will be targeted with further sanctions.  Several cases have already been referred to our legal backstop, Trading Standards for further investigation.  Any breaches of criminal legislation could lead to prosecution.
 
More information is available here
 
 
 
Advertising self-regulation in Spain in 2018: The number of requests for copy advice to AUTOCONTROL increased 15%
 
In 2018, AUTOCONTROL managed 47,642 inquiries from the advertising industry, of which 36,395 were copy advice.  Four out of ten copy advice issued in 2018 correspond to advertising campaigns in digital media, growing more than 25% compared to 2017.  Stands out in 2018, the development of new tools to resolve complaints regarding data protection related to advertising.
 
Last year, AUTOCONTROL attended 47,642 consultations from the advertising industry, almost 10% more than in 2017. Of these, 36,395 were Copy Advice, which suppose an increase up to 15 % over the previous year. The rest, 11,247, corresponding to other legal and ethical queries.  More than 40% of the total number of copy advice issued in 2018 -about 14,000- were advisory reports on deontological and legal correction of online advertising campaigns, while more than 10,500 corresponded to television campaigns.
 
The Jury of Advertising, has solved 185 cases, corresponding to a total of 207 complaints about advertising campaigns. 43% of these claims (specifically, 109) refer to Internet campaigns.
 
In the new digital context, the Association is finalizing a new Code of Data Protection on digital advertising, submitted for acceptance to the Spanish Agency for Data Protection (AEPD). Through it will be put at the disposal of the companies that adhere a system of mediation and resolution of controversies in this matter managed by AUTOCONTROL. This new dispute resolution system on data protection in advertising is considered as an extension of the mediation service on data protection in the field of contracting and advertising of telecommunications services. Last year this mediation service on data protection in telecommunications handled 957 queries and managed more than 250 claims.
 
In the other hand, during 2018, the Digital Development Department handled more than 372 requests for advice, Cookie Advice, Data Advice and Web Advice.
 
The activity of AUTOCONTROL has experienced, also, an important growth in the training area. More than 800 professionals attended to the 10 courses and seminars organized by the Association, through which they have known about regulation, and general and sectorial advertising self-regulation.
 
José Domingo Gómez Castallo, General Director of the Association, remarked, within the positive balance of the activity of AUTOCONTROL during 2018, how " through all these self-regulatory tools and new services, AUTOCONTROL intends to continue to be useful to companies and, therefore, to consumers, the Administration and society in general, offering solutions to the numerous ethical and legal challenges that can be posed to advertising. This, not only in traditional media in which the Association continues to deploy an important activity, but also in new media and digital plataforms".
 
 
  
Deutscher Werberat (DWR) publishes annual yearbook and statistics for 2018
 
On 21 March 2019, the Deutscher Werberat (DWR) published its annual yearbook and statistics for 2018.
 
For the first time, the publication featured a newly designed guide of the DWR code of conduct which highlights modified advertisements that are based on real cases. This shows where DRW draws a red line and where it does not.
 
The statistics show that DWR processed fewer cases in 2018 than in the previous year. In 2018, DWR had 702 cases, compared to 787 in 2017, which is 11% less than in 2017. Interestingly, the number of cases was almost at the exact same level as in 2016. We think this has to do with the broad discussion following the events of MeToo in German media and society as the complaints about allegedly sexist advertising hit a peak in 2017 with +18% but decreased in 2018.
 
In 2018, DWR processed and made rulings on 462 cases. It followed the criticism of the complainants in 124 cases and managed to achieve a change or withdrawal of these campaigns in 108 cases. This means the assertiveness of DWR ranges above 90% once again and proves the effectiveness of self-regulation once more.
 
The top 3 reasons for complaints were gender discrimination (as in the past years) with 261 cases, violations against ethics and moral codes which involved 61 cases and content which was criticised to harm or impair the development of minors accounting for 27 cases.
 
DWR saw a notable increase in complaints about advertising on social media channels alone, even though it usually summarises online advertising and social media. Apart from that, out of home advertising still is the ad material DWD received the most complaints about.
 
In a guest contribution, the two rapporteurs of the European Parliament for the AVMS Directive, Petra Kammerevert (S&D Group) and Sabine Verheyen (EPP Group), explain the political objective against further legal advertising bans. They refer to the very well functioning co-regulation and self-regulation system within the advertising industry in many Member States. "In this way, the German Advertising Standards Council has taken the leading role in Europe in the self-regulation of the content of commercial communication" say the two MEPs who had negotiated the dossier.
 
Full press release (in German) available here.
 
The newly designed guide to the code is available here
 
 
 
IAP modifies 'article 12bis - Safety' of its Code
 
The modified code, which came into effect on 9 March, is as follows (key change in bold text):
  
"Art. 12bis – Safety
Marketing communication involving products that may potentially endanger health, safety or the environment, especially when such dangers are not immediately recognisable, should indicate such dangers clearly.
In any case marketing communication should not contain descriptions or representations that may lead consumers to be less cautious than usual or less watchful and responsible towards their own health and safety, including body images inspired by aesthetic models clearly associated with eating disorders that are harmful to health."
 
To read the full Code (in English) please visit IAP's website here
 
 
 
RAC awarded prize at the Copyright Gala, 18 March, in Bucharest
 
At the Annual Gala for Copyright Law, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce in Bucharest and the Universul Juridic Magazine on 18 March, RAC was awarded a prize for Contribution to Self-regulation and Respect of Copyright Law in Advertising.
 
This is the second award RAC has received recently. Last year RAC President, Oana Cociasu, was awarded the IAA Excellence Award for Best Relationship with Authorities.
 
RAC is proud of the positive acknowledgement it has recently received from the industry, peers and authorities. These awards are a fitting tribute to the hard work of RAC as an SRO and in light of its 20th anniversary it celebrates this autumn.
 
 
 
Wettbewerbszentrale publishes Annual Report for 2018
 
On 12 March, Wettbewerbszentrale published its Annual Report for 2018. Read the full press release here (in German). 
 
The Annual Report can be downloaded here (also in German).
 
 
 
INDUSTRY NEWS
 
AER 
 
AER Special Focus Workshop @Radiodays Europe – Sunday 31 March 2019 – Lausanne
 
Is Internet reinventing broadcast radio?
 
How will the radio industry change in the next years? 
Are the innovations transforming the role of radio in people’s lives? 
Are the most recent technological disruptions an opportunity or a threat?
 
AER will be at Radiodays Europe – the most important world annual conference for radio professionals held this year in Lausanne – with its AER Special Focus Workshop: Is Internet reinventing broadcast radio?
 
An exciting line-up of speakers will share their insights on the most recent innovations driving the change in the radio industry.
 
In a series of three thought-provoking sessions, AER Special Focus Workshop will explore the following topics: 
Hybrid radio: from HRADIO, creating exciting new radio services to deliver time and location independent listening experiences, smartly combined with personalized and on-demand content, leveraging the full potential of hybrid technology for radio, to MARCONI, the integrated platform for enhanced interaction between radio makers and listeners, bringing radio experiences to the next level;
5G for broadcasting: what is it? What are its applications? Can it or cannot complement broadcast radio in a faster and more efficient manner than the current available technology?
Artificial Intelligence: automated processes for metadata extraction, allowing for the creation of new business models, as well as enabling the transformation of content for media and fostering its distribution beyond any linguistic boundaries.
 
Check out the full programme here. Participation to the AER Special Focus Workshop is free of charge. To register, click here.
 
 
 
Effie Awards Europe are now open for entries!
 
The Effie Awards Europe (formerly known as Euro Effie Awards) have announced the call for entries for the 2019 competition.
 
Celebrating 50 years globally, and its 23rd edition on the European level, Effie is a global forum that exists to lead, inspire and champion both the practice and practitioners of marketing effectiveness. The awards are open to all agencies and brands that want to be recognised for their most effective marketing efforts that made a difference and achieved real, measurable results.
 
In this year’s competition, beside the existing standard categories, the Effie Awards Europe have introduced two new special categories, that will be open for entries on 8 April:
Marketing & Business Solutions to award innovative marketing and business decisions that bring unprecedented results in spite of any communications activities
Best of the Best category to award the best marketing campaign in Europe that have already won Gold in national Effie competition.
 
For full details, visit EACA's website here
 
EACA launches 'Brexit - Frequently Asked Questions' page 
 
EACA has prepared this FAQ page on Brexit with the purpose of answering questions of general interest (state of affairs of negotiations etc.) and questions of particular interest/concern to communications agencies (doing business in the EU, sectors affected, recruiting talent, etc.).
Input for some of the questions has been received from the UK-based Advertising Association and their Strategic Policy Advisor Konrad Shek.
 
For full details, visit the page here.  
 
 
 
FEPE International Dubai Congress – 1-3 May 2019 
 
This year's congress will take place on 1-3 May in the Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City (10 mins from the airport).
 
The 2018 FEPE congress in Sorrento was the biggest ever, with 405 attendees from 40 different countries. This included delegations from China, India and Japan and followed a significant effort to broaden FEPE‘s appeal and reach beyond Europe, North America and Australia
 
As a true International hub the choice of Dubai reflects the work currently happening in the UAE. FEPE is anticipating more delegates from the surrounding regions in addition to new attendees from Russia, Latin America and the local industry in UAE where FEPE will be undertaking a specific drive for delegates in 2019. FEPE also expect the majority of regular delegates to be joining from across Europe, Africa, Australia and North America.
 
This truly global destination also offers FEPE a great location to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
 
For further details, see here
 
 
 
Interact, Warsaw, 4-5 June 2019
 
Interact is IAB Europe’s flagship annual event. It's a must-attend event for the digital advertising industry. For over 12 years, leading European advertisers, industry experts, agencies & media owners get inspired, meet & share best practices.
 
Registration is NOW open here
 
IAB Europe Expands Team and Industry Outreach with First-Ever Hires of Heads of Tech and Marketing
 
IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the online advertising ecosystem, announced today the appointments of Patrick Verdon as Technical Director and Helen Mussard as Marketing & Business Strategy Director. In these newly-created roles, Verdon and Mussard join the organisation as it continues its mission to enable digital advertising to support media plurality and Europe’s digital economy, to shape the regulatory environment and to help companies process user data legally with the Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF).
 
For more information, see here
 
IAB Europe Appoints Its First Chief Economist as it Expands Research Offering
 
IAB Europe has appointed Dr. Daniel Knapp as its first Chief Economist. As the leading European-level industry association for the digital advertising ecosystem, IAB Europe created this new role to strengthen its market analysis and economic research offering for its corporate members and network of National IABs.
 
For more information, see here
 
 
  
WFA's Global Marketer Week 2019 in Lisbon, 26-29 March
 
WFA's Global Marketer Week kicks off in Lisbon this week!
 
For the first time since 2013, WFA's annual flagship event returns to Europe for yet another unmissable week of inspiration, discovery and learning. Speaking at the week’s flagship event, the Global Marketer Conference, are some of the industry’s leading lights, including Mastercard’s Raja Rajamannar, Airbnb’s Geoff Seeley, Diageo’s Syl Saller and Unilever’s Keith Weed, and MORE!
 
WFA members can derive additional value from the concurrent events taking place on 27 March for media, marketing procurement, integrated marketing communications and policy specialists. A Project Reconnect (now Better Marketing) session will take place on the same day.
 
This year’s conference promises to be the most senior client-led event of its kind in the world – and together with all the week’s events, a must-attend for all global marketing leaders. For the full agenda see here.