EACA Monthly Newsletter March 2003
01 december 2002
The European Parliament Adopts New Measures to Protect Children
In a first reading on 11 March, Members of the European Parliament agreed to a Commission plan, stepping up the Community's efforts combating illegal and potentially harmful content on the internet. They emphasized the need to guard children in particular from potentially disturbing or harmful internet content. The Parliament's report, tabled by Bill Newton Dunn, (ELDR, UK), agreed to the Commission plans of extending the Community's current action plan on safer internet use for a further two years. It added a special emphasis on child protection, which should include new technologies such as mobile content, peer-to-peer file transfer and chat rooms. MEPs also emphasized that they wanted to see enhanced cooperation with accession countries, where illegal content is hosted or produced, in an effort to harmonize protective measures as soon as possible.
Tobacco Directive Adopted at the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council
Recently the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council adopted in a first reading a Directive concerning the advertising and sponsorship of tobacco products. In accordance with the political agreement reached on 2-3 December 2002 (Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council), it was adopted with the addition of the two amendments introduced by the European Parliament. The Directive is aimed at harmonizing national regulations on tobacco advertising in printed media, radio broadcasting and information society services, as well as on sponsorship of events with cross-border effects with the aim of promoting tobacco products. It does so whilst ensuring the free movement of the media concerned and with a view to eliminating obstacles to the operation of the internal market. It builds on the relevant provisions, with regard to television advertising and sponsorship of tobacco products, of Directive 97/36/EC concerning the pursuit of television broadcasting activities (so-called "Television without frontiers" Directive).
European Commission Launches 11-language Website on Laws in Member States
Three months after the entry into force of the European Council decision establishing a European judicial network in civil and commercial matters, the European Commission has brought online a new website designed to provide the public with information about the law and legal practices of the individual member states and about community law and international law. For the first time European citizens are to have access to a well structured user-friendly website giving details of all the European legal systems. What is more, the information is available in all eleven official languages of the European Union and is also free of charge. In addition, all the pages contain many hyperlinks to other official sites providing more detailed information, in particular, access to the full texts of community legislation.
Internal market: The Preventive Dialogue with the Member States on the Regulation of Online Services Bears Fruit
The first European Commission report showed that the Community-level application of the binding system of prior notification of national rules on online services has been highly successful. Extended to online services by Directive 98/48/EC, this system has prevented new barriers to the free movement of services and saved litigation. The report confirms the notification procedure's importance in ensuring a clear and stable European legal framework at a time when the Information Society is developing rapidly. Commissioner Bolkestein, saw the report as a clear proof that prevention is better than cure. He felt that the notification system would help instil in national administrations a legislative culture conducive to the achievement of a genuine internal market in services, something vital to the future of the European economy. The initiative may not be adopted at national level for three months, a period extended to four months if the Commission or a Member State issues a detailed opinion.
Commissioner David Byrne launches EU Consumer Affairs web site to mark World Consumer Day
David Byrne, the Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, launched recently the European Commission's new multi-lingual Consumer Affairs web site. The launch of the site was timed to mark World Consumer Day, which takes place every year on 15 March. The "right to be informed" is one of the four fundamental consumer rights that World Consumer Day is designed to highlight. Commissioner Byrne emphasised the Commission's recognition of, and commitment to, this right.
EACA and Member News
Broadcasting Commission of Ireland Work on Statutory Codes Update
The European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) recently sounded a warning about the initial impact assessment supporting the proposed Framework Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices, which was presented by external consultants GFA in Brussels in the end of January. EACA called on EU legislators to recognise that the Commission's proposed directive on marketing practices presents an opportunity to strengthen effective advertising self-regulation and not to jeopardise the progress being made by the advertising industry to improve the credibility of commercial communications through excessively restrictive legislation.
Code and Control Committee on TV and Minors Enters into Force
The new self-regulatory code of conduct on "TV and Minors" (Codice di autoregolamentazione TV e minori) adopted by the Italian Minister for Communications on 29 November 2002 and signed by the national and local TV channels, became effective with the appointment of the Control Committee on TV and Minors. The Committee is composed of 15 members: 5 broadcasters, 5 public authorities and 5 representatives of viewers' interests. Its role is to monitor the application of the Code, reprimand those who break the code and to report the most serious breaches of the Code to the Authority of Communications. The Authority of Communications will be able to impose sanctions including issuing fines from EUR 2,000 to EUR 250,000 and revoking offenders' broadcasting licences. The code extends the age of a minor to 18 years old and aims to protect minors from violent and inappropriate content in television programming, but it also includes provisions on advertising targeted at children.
Corporate Social Responsibility
New Training Programme to Advance CSR-Conscious Policy Making
The World Bank Institute programme on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Competitiveness, together with the UN Global Compact, is in the process of developing an online training module on CSR aiming to explain how policy and businesses function as an integrated system in support of sound CSR practices. The online CSR course aims at providing the participants with an introduction to the fundamental rationale, design, and implementation of CSR programmes in the framework of sustainable competitiveness and good governance. The course targets high-level government officials, leaders from the private sector and civil society, academics, leaders of international organisations, students and journalists. It is already available free of charge in English and it takes about 6-8 hours to complete.
European Multi-Stakeholder Forum - development
The European Multi-Stakeholder Forum on CSR hosted its first roundtable on CSR development aspects in March. Case studies included CSR Europe member BP presenting with environmental organisation WWF, and Heineken presenting with NGO PharmAccess International. Participants also heard from CSR organisations from Brazil and Poland. Presentations are available in the MSF online library.
The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Finalises International Tobacco Control Treaty
Completing four years of negotiations an international tobacco control treaty was agreed in the 171-member World Health Organisation (WHO) on 1 March 2003. It will govern tobacco advertising, sponsorship, taxation, smoking prevention and treatment, as well as illicit trade. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is the first global health treaty formulated under the auspices of the WHO. The World Health Assembly is due to adopt the final text in May 2003. The ratification by 40 countries is necessary for the Treaty to come into force.
Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce
The Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce approved in principle is intended to establish benchmarks for good business practices for merchants conducting commercial activities with consumers online. The Code leaves unchanged rights, remedies and other obligations that may exist as a result of consumer protection, privacy or other laws and regulations, or other general or sector-specific voluntary codes of conduct to which vendors may subscribe.
French Legislators Vote to Ban Spam
France's National Assembly voted recently in favour of banning unsolicited e-mail sales messages, known as spam. Deputies at a first reading approved the move, presented to the lower house of parliament in the form of government amendments to a law to "increase confidence in the digital economy," Direct electronic marketing without prior consent would be allowed in certain circumstances where the parties involved were properly registered so as not to penalise e-business between companies. The law now goes up to the upper house, the Senate, for its approval. The draft bill would ban "direct marketing, notably advertising, via electronic messages" to individuals who had not given consent. The national commission on data processing and freedoms would be given powers to deal with complaints over spamming. The deputies also called for Internet site hosts to be responsible for a "minimum of surveillance" of their pages, to prevent the diffusion of messages or images of racism, paedophilia and crimes against humanity. E-commerce would also be tightened up, with those offering on-line sales handed "global responsibility" for those sales.
IPA and IDM team up to offer DM courses to IPA Members
The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and the Institute of Direct Marketing IDM) teamed up to deliver direct marketing training to IPA member agencies.
The IDM will hold the Certificate in Direct marketing course for IPA members at the IPA's London offices beginning in April. The IPA's support for an open course is expected to attract individuals from within agencies who are keen to add direct marketing know how to their skills portfolio. The promotion of the IDM Certificate to IPA members is the first joint initiative between the two industry bodies. Talks about how the two might join forces in other ways are on going.
New Industry Research Shows Flaws in Current Client Agency Briefings and Leads Way for New Guidelines
The two main client and agency trade bodies, the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) published recently the results of their first joint research into the effectiveness of the client-agency briefing process and announced that they are embarking on a joint industry initiative to produce new and more comprehensive best practice guidelines and training. This research reveals that clients and agencies do not necessarily agree on the type of brief they give and receive. For a copy of the research report please click on the link provided below.
IPA and DJ Freeman Publish New Guide to the Law of Marketing Communications
The IPA and media lawyers DJ Freeman published recently the new online Guide to Marketing and Communications Law and Regulation, on the IPA website (www.ipa.co.uk). Developed to bring greater clarity to the rapidly changing laws and regulations affecting the industry, this concise and accessible guide provides advertising and marketing communications agencies, advertisers and their marketing and PR departments, as well as in-house lawyers, with guidance on the legal and regulatory framework surrounding all current aspects of marketing and communications activities. The areas covered include financial services, e-commerce, SMS marketing, trade marks, copyright, passing off, fly-posting and data protection.
For a copy of the Short Guide to Marketing and Communications Law and Regulations please click on the link below:
Hooper and Pringle Appointed first Chairman and Secretary of CAF
Matthew Hooper, President of the MCCA has been appointed the first Chairman of the newly formed Communications Agencies Federation (CAF). Hamish Pringle, Director General of the IPA who will act as Secretary, will support him.
IPA Publishes AdValue, showing 20 ways advertising works for business
AdValue is the first comprehensive guide to calculating the real value that advertising contributes to business through a series of 'general proofs' including: how advertising impacts on profitability and share price as well as drives sales and profit and affects brand value. For more information including how to order your copy of AdValue, please click on the link below.
New Rules Tackle Text Adverts
Regulations on new media have now been included in the latest British edition of the code of advertising practice, which has been updated to include new media. Rules on alcohol and motoring advertisements have also been tightened. There has been a sharp increase in complaints about text messages, according to the Advertising Standards Authority, which administers the rules covering non-broadcast advertising and marketing.
ITC in European TV Sponsorship Row
The future of independent and impartial journalism has come under the spotlight again after the Independent Television Commission (ITC) became embroiled in a row with the European Commission after banning a series of EU-funded programmes. The Commission is disputing an ITC ruling reprimanding the broadcaster CNBC Europe for accepting almost £200,000 from the EU for a series of programmes about the euro. The Commission believes this goes against the TVWF directive, which defines sponsorship as the financing of television programmes by any organisation "with a view to promoting its name, its trade mark, its image, its activities or its products". The Commission and CNBC Europe have hired the Labour MP and former paymaster general, Geoffrey Robinson, and media lawyer Mark Stephens to make their case, and this week went to the ITC to argue for the original ruling to be overturned. Experts say the case could have serious repercussions for the future of news and current affairs programmes. Sponsorship is widespread in the US but up to now the UK has been vigorously protected from any kind of sponsorship in order to prevent potentially damaging compromises in editorial content.
Tomorrow's Europe - Share the Opportunity! : Conference on the Future of European Advertising, Vienna, Austria
This is an important conference regarding the future of European advertising industry and the future of European advertising standards. It will bring together the representatives of all relevant European and national Associations of advertising and business communication industry with focus on the enlargement of the EU. For more information please contact: Euroforum Communication Team MARIC&RINALDIN Tel: ++ 43 / 1 / 315 290 200 cdataEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
EACA EURO EFFIES 2003
Don't miss out!! Call for entries is now open for the 2003 competition. All information and online entry form available on the website www.euro-effie.com
EASA Self-Regulation Road Show
The European Advertising Standards Alliance is visiting 8 European countries this year with a road show to present developments and plans for self-regulation in Europe. Launched in Madrid in March, the EASA road show will visit Vienna on 16 May as part of the Congress 'Tomorrow's Europe: share the opportunity', and Paris on 23 June
1 October 2003, EACA National Association Council meeting in Brussels
2 October 2003, EACA Board meeting & Annual General Meeting in Brussels
2 October 2003, EACA Gala Dinner & EURO EFFIES awards
3 October 2003, EACA Annual Conference in Brussels