Cross-Border Complaints (CBCs) are complaints about advertisements appearing in media or originating from advertisers based in another country to that of the complainant.

EASA’s Cross-Border Complaints system has been in operation since 1992 and was set up in response to the forthcoming European Single Market and the need to address complaints and issues arising from advertising circulating in one EU Member State but carried in media originating in another.

An example would be a consumer in Hungary complaining about an online advert which was published on a website by an Irish company. The EASA CBC system provides a complainant with the same redress available to consumers in the country of origin of the media in which the advertisement appears.

The ‘Country of Origin’ principle, a concept enshrined in EU law to facilitate the growth of the Single Market, is the basis of the EASA CBC system. Following this principle, an advertisement must comply with the rules of the country where the media that published it, is based. There are some exceptions to this principle: in the case of direct marketing (postal and telephone marketing), digital marketing communications and online behavioural advertising, the advertisement must follow the rules of the country where the advertiser is based.

Statistics and data on Cross-Border Complaints are reported annually in CBC reports, which can be found here