Free Online Educational Project – winner of the Silver Award

28 March 2023

In the latest edition of the Best Practice Awards, the Silver Award went to our Spanish SRO member AUTOCONTROL, for their Free Online Educational Project. The project is mainly aimed to consumers and advertising industry practitioners, to offer them basic training on advertising regulation and self-regulation, ADR and data protection regulation.

About the project

The Free Online Educational Project, which has been financially supported by the European Commission through the “Consumer Program of the European Union”, is a training program divided into four modules (Rule on advertising, rules on digital advertising, rules on data protection, how to exercise your rights: ADR) and a total of 22 short-lived animated videos. The project had different objectives, based on the target audience: for advertising industry practitioners, the goals included establishing a solid knowledge of the out-of-court dispute settlement systems, and raising awareness on the services and tools that AUTOCONTROL makes available to them; for consumers, the focus was on highlighting the key role of alternative dispute resolution systems and cross-border complaints mechanisms, as well as giving more visibility to consumer rights.

The animated content played a fundamental role in making the training accessible, by presenting data in a creative and entertaining way.  By doing so, the training can be easily understood by a broad audience of people external to the field and specialists alike. The development of these video has of course been challenging, but also very interesting for AUTOCONTROL. Also, since the legal language could have posed a barrier for people outside the advertising self-regulatory field, AUTOCONTROL has adapted the language of the training into a less technical one.

The project was rolled out in three different phases: first, the creation of the materials; second, the launch of the online campaign with an event organised by AUTOCONTROL joined by the EC Policy Officer, DG Just and Consumers, Stephanie Darmanin; and finally, the implementation of the communications plan.

Results and benefits

This project provided consumers and practitioners with audiovisual training materials on advertising regulation and self-regulation, as well as data protection. To date, there were no such materials available in Spain. Moreover, this project can be carried out by other SRO, as its scalable.

This initiative also generated a positive spill-over effect for AUTOCONTROL, notably:

  • Increase in visits to both the AUTOCONTROL website and its social networks: the videos had more than 3,500 views on their website only, on top of the visualisations through platforms and social network
  • A more widespread knowledge of self-regulation and more specifically of the role of AUTOCONTROL
  • Increased contact with the European Commission, Public Administration, Memberships, associations, media, universities…
  • Growing request for services and training activities of AUTOCONTROL, and improved reputation. The year after the programme was launched, the European Commission invited AUTOCONTROL to take part in the general DRS meeting as a “Good example of a successful financed Project.”

In case you missed the news about the Best Practice Awards, you can find here the other winners. We will post a spotlight on their projects, keep an eye on EASA website!