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02/06/2006

European Parliament: Audiovisual Media Services Directive

Brussels, 1-2 June Public Hearing at the European Parliament on the revised EU Television Without Frontiers Directive (TWF). To view the issues that were discussed during the hearing click here.

The proposal to update the EU's 1989 TWF Directive was adopted by the Commission 13 December 2005 with new rules on advertising product placement and new media regulation. The outcomes are not what Eurocare has been lobbying for.

Article 15, which regulates television advertising and teleshopping for alcoholic beverages, remains unchanged in the proposed directive.

Article 3 in the revised proposal states: “Member States shall encourage co-regulatory regimes in the fields coordinated by this Directive. These regimes shall be such that they are broadly accepted by the main stakeholders and provide for effective enforcement.”

Eurocare recommendations to the Commission focus on the marketing of alcoholic beverages, especially towards children, and are the following:

  • A new rule should be added to the article 15 specifying that product placement should not be used before 10pm.
  • Television programmes may not be sponsored by undertakings whose principal activity is manufacture or sale of alcoholic beverages.
  • Hourly and daily limits of advertising should be maintained for linear services.
  • Teleshopping of alcoholic beverages should be prohibited before 10pm.
  • The European Commission should set up an independent advisory expert group which would look at reducing and resolving the differences of the specific provisions covering alcohol advertising in all the Member States. The advisory expert group should be made up of at least 50 % of professionals working in public health as well as professionals working in television advertising in order to be recognized as a valid entity by all people involved.

The Health and Consumer Intergroup will meet next 14 June at the European Parliament in Strasbourg to discuss the revised EU Television Without Frontiers Directive (TWF). Wim Van Dalen (Director of STAP the Dutch National Foundation for Alcohol Prevention –and coordinator of the ELSA Project) has been invited to participate in this meeting to speak about the effectiveness of self-regulation and co-regulation.

This is an important time to feed some of our concern into the work of the European Parliament. Your comments will be of great value, so please do not hesitate to send your questions or comments to farke@ias.org.uk.

To read more about:

· The revised EU Television Without Frontiers Directive http://ec.europa.eu/comm/avpolicy/docs/reg/modernisation/proposal_2005/com2005-646-final-en.pdf

· Themes and issues discussed during the Public Hearing at the European Parliament http://www.hieronymi.de/PDF%20Dokumente/Questions%20experts%20FINAL.pdf

· Health intergroup in the European Parliament http://intergroup.epha.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=1