Commercial TVs call on European Parliament to be more flexible on commercial communications

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BRUSSELS, 7 December 2016. MEPs, Member State attachés and commercial broadcasters gathered in the European Parliament yesterday to focus on advertising as part of the ongoing EU revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The Directive has its roots in 1989. Commercial broadcasters took this opportunity to ask the Parliament to ensure the proposed revision be future proof and ensure fair competition.

“Today some of the leading voices in TV advertising delivered a clear message. Original European AV content is expensive. To continue being a motor of investment, commercial broadcasters need a fair framework that allows them to secure advertising spend from European and global brands. Doing so will ensure advertising money is reinvested in European jobs, growth and outstanding original European TV content”; stated Grégoire Polad, Director General of the Association of Commercial Television in Europe.

Hosting MEP Andrew Lewer (ECR, UK) took note and responded that “It is worth underlining that up to date, the AVMSD has largely struck the right balance, serving citizens and businesses well. While maintaining the Country of Origin Principle and safeguarding the protection of minors, it is my view that we should not make change for changes sake. And where we do make changes, they must be evidence-based, offer legal clarity, and avoid unintended consequences”.

Matteo Cardani, General Manager, Marketing & Ad Operations from Publitalia, Mediaset Group stated “The current AVMS provisions no longer grants a pro-competitive framework enabling European broadcasters to provide their services on an equal footing with other players in the online Video Market. There’s no need for more rules but,  rather, rules flexible enough that we may compete effectively for advertising budgets and in turn finance the whole value chain that delivers original European content and thousands of jobs in the EU creative industries”.

Lars-Eric Mann Sales Director Advertising Solutions at IP Germany added “We need greater flexibility in the commercial communications rules for broadcasters in order to adapt to the ever-changing competitive media landscape. This is essential to ensure the continued production of high quality content in Europe”.

Gary Knight, ITV Commercial Content Director stated “we should look ahead and do all we can to modernise the historic regulatory regime for TV to ensure that TV companies can continue to compete effectively and invest at scale in the original European content that audiences love in an era of global digital competition”.

Commercial broadcasters call for greater flexibility of commercial communications on a number of fronts including quantitative rules for advertising, insertion, spots, product placement, sponsorship and promotional references.

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The Association of Commercial Television in Europe represents the interests of leading commercial broadcasters across Europe. The 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 the European economy, society and culture.

For any further enquiries please contact Greg Polad, Director General, ACT – ACT position papers and other materials can be found at or by request to Masa Lampret –