Broadcasters welcome political advertising initiative – Encourage co-legislators to address political advertising online and deliver on transparency

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BRUSSELS, 25 NOVEMBER. Public and Private broadcasters welcome the European Commission’s legislative proposal on political advertising and call on bold transparency measures and a proper framing of the micro-targeting of political advertising online through the proposed regulation on the transparency and targeting of political advertising.

Broadcasters play a major part in informing the public, offering diverse opinions and content. As such, they are subject to heavy regulatory requirements at national and European level, including national laws and rules on political advertising. These requirements may define strict periods when political advertising is allowed during elections, disclosure obligations related to electoral campaigns for political parties or candidates, or simply bans on political and issue-based advertising. These rules are essential to national democratic processes and must not be undermined. On the contrary, the effectiveness of these obligations could be improved by creating similar rules online.

Indeed, political advertising is barely regulated in the online environment. Yet, targeted and sponsored political content, including issue-based ads, is rampant online with very little oversight, transparency and accountability. This regulatory asymmetry is not only harmful to the democratic process, but it also contributes to growing imbalance between online intermediaries and media services.

The political advertising initiative, which the undersigned organisations will examine in more detail, appears to be an opportunity to tackle problematic online advertising practices without undermining the sustainability of Europe’s media. In line with the objectives of the DSA, this new legislative proposal has the potential to improve the transparency of online advertising. It also has the scope to address problematic targeting and micro-targeting practices in the context of political advertising, while avoiding devastating effects on the European media landscape and on media freedom and pluralism in the EU. We therefore call on the co-legislators to seize this opportunity and tackle problematic online advertising practices through the political advertising initiative.

Grégoire Polad

ACT Director General

Matt Payton

AER Secretary General

Conor Murray

egta Director Regulatory and Public Affairs

Wouter Gekiere

EBU Head of Brussels office

About the Association of Commercial Television and Video on Demand Services in Europe (ACT)

ACT member companies finance, produce, promote and distribute content and services benefiting millions of Europeans across all platforms. At ACT we believe that the healthy and sustainable commercial broadcasting sector has an important role to play in Europe’s economy, society and cultures. Contact: Erard Gilles,

About the Association of European Radios (AER)

The Association of European Radios (AER) is the Europe-wide trade body for commercial radio, representing the interests of companies operating over 5,000 commercial radio stations to the EU Institutions. AER promotes the development of commercially-funded radio broadcasting in Europe, by ensuring a fair and sustainable economic framework for radio so it can continue to thrive. Contact: Nikolas Moschakis,

About the European association of television and radio sales houses (egta)

egta is the media trade body for television and radio advertising, representing 150 companies in Europe and beyond. egta members come from both public and private sectors and cover respectively 75% and 50% of the total TV and radio ad spend in Europe, thus playing a fundamental role in the sustainable funding of the European audiovisual and radio industries. Contact: Conor Murray,

About the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)

The EBU is the world’s leading alliance of public service media. The EBU has 115 member organizations in 56 countries who operate nearly 2,000 television, radio and online channels and services and reach an audience of more than one billion people in 160 languages. Contact: Julie Lenoir,