Audio-visual Media Services Directive first application report highlights industry progress, calls for greater children’s protection
On 7 May, the European Commission published a first report on the application of the 2010 Audiovisual and Media Services (AVMS) Directive (2007/65/CE) which recognises the effectiveness of the Directive but highlights the need to strengthen the rules protecting children:
"The report shows that the AVMS Directive is working, but internet-driven changes such as Connected TV mean we cannot be complacent" said Vice President Neelie Kroes in a press release.
In addition, the report highlights some aspects of the provisions on commercial communications that will need more in depth study.
Key points on advertising and children:
· EU Platform for Diet, Physical Activity and Health
The Commission welcomes the progress made by the industry in the field of marketing and advertising as highlighted by the evaluation of the Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health but supports the development of a definition of stricter age and audience thresholds for advertising and marketing and more consistent nutritional benchmarks across companies.
Additionally, the Commission calls on Member States to encourage audiovisual media service providers to develop codes of conduct regarding inappropriate audiovisual commercial communications for food high in fat, salt or sugar targeting children.
· Protection of children in advertising
A content analysis of the 100 most frequently broadcast advertising spots showed that the Directive’s provisions on the protection of minors in advertising were seldom contravened.
· Self-regulatory initiatives
The Commission underlines the role of Member States in framing industry-led self-regulatory codes, “(…) in particular with regard to the efficient and well-resourced administration of codes and the handling of complaints.”
· New media
The regulatory framework set by the AVMS Direct will have to be tested against new media. Challenges posed by the transition to Connected TV services such as control of advertising and data protection are substantial. Such technological evolution might blur the boundaries between broadcasting and over the top delivery of audiovisual content. The Commission will deepen its analysis in the coming months and launch a wider consultation process in view of a policy document on Connected TV.
· With regard to advertising and children, the Commission will initiate the necessary research in 2013 to assess the impact of commercial communications on minors, on their exposure and consumption behaviour, especially for alcoholic beverages, and the effectiveness of the Directive in achieving protection.
· The 2004 Interpretative Communication which clarifies certain aspects of the provisions on TV advertising in the “Television Without Frontiers” Directive will be updated in 2013.
- To date, 25 Member States have notified complete transposition of the AVMS Directive into their national legislation. Poland and Belgium still need to adapt their legislation. Additionally, three Member States still need to make some changes to their legislation in order to comply with the Directive.
Source: World Federation of Advertisers (WFA)