France to relax advertising rules?

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France is to consider measures to liberalise the TV advertising market, according to Bloomberg.

The report says that France’s parliament will open up discussions early next year. If this happens it could generate a windfall for broadcasters worth up to an extra €360 million in overall revenues made up of some €200 million in extra TV ad-revenues, and €160 million if promotional retail ads were permitted, suggest number-crunching from Publicis Media.

A report from investment bankers Exane/BNPP says that the new rules “could include the end of the audio-visual compulsory payments if a person has a TV, further actions against piracy, authorization for Free-to-air broadcasters to show movies any day, to run “cultural” ads, targeted advertising, and also the reduction of the time gap from the cinema broadcasting to TV/platforms broadcasting (‘windowing’).”

Regarding the timeframe, the reform is scheduled to be discussed by the French cabinet starting in October and then in Parliament early next year. Final passage would happen by the end of 2020.

The bank’s view is that the current French TV regulation was drafted 30 years ago and is currently among the least commercial in Europe and adapted poorly to resist the digital world. “We believe that, if accepted, the reform will have a positive medium and long-term impact on TF1, M6 & Canal as these players will be better equipped to compete with global platforms such as Netflix & Amazon.”

The bank tells clients it remains cautious on traditional FTA players because of structural challenges and increasing competition.


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