Advanced Television

Broadcasters call for ad rules flexibility

December 7, 2016

By Colin Mann

Europe’s commercial broadcasters have asked the European Parliament to ensure the proposed revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive be future proof and ensure fair competition. The call came as MEPs, Member State attachés and commercial broadcasters gathered in the European Parliament to focus on advertising as part of the ongoing EU revision. The Directive has its roots in 1989.

“Today some of the leading voices in TV advertising delivered a clear message,” stated Grégoire Polad, Director General of the Association of Commercial Television in Europe. “Original European AV content is expensive. To continue being a motor of investment, commercial broadcasters need a fair framework that allows them to secure advertising spend from European and global brands. Doing so will ensure advertising money is reinvested in European jobs, growth and outstanding original European TV content”

MEP Andrew Lewer (ECR, UK), hosting the event, took note and said that it was worth underlining that up to date, the AVMSD had largely struck the right balance, serving citizens and businesses well. “While maintaining the Country of Origin Principle and safeguarding the protection of minors, it is my view that we should not make change for changes sake. And where we do make changes, they must be evidence-based, offer legal clarity, and avoid unintended consequences,” he declared.

“The current AVMS provisions no longer grants a pro-competitive framework enabling European broadcasters to provide their services on an equal footing with other players in the online Video Market,” noted Matteo Cardani, General Manager, Marketing & Ad Operations from Publitalia, Mediaset Group. “There’s no need for more rules but, rather, rules flexible enough that we may compete effectively for advertising budgets and in turn finance the whole value chain that delivers original European content and thousands of jobs in the EU creative industries.”

“We need greater flexibility in the commercial communications rules for broadcasters in order to adapt to the ever-changing competitive media landscape,” stated Lars-Eric Mann, Sales Director Advertising Solutions at IP Germany, suggesting this was “essential” to ensure the continued production of high quality content in Europe.

“We should look ahead and do all we can to modernise the historic regulatory regime for TV to ensure that TV companies can continue to compete effectively and invest at scale in the original European content that audiences love in an era of global digital competition,” suggested Gary Knight, ITV Commercial Content Director.

The commercial broadcasters’ call for greater flexibility of commercial communications covers a number of fronts including quantitative rules for advertising, insertion, spots, product placement, sponsorship and promotional references.

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