AA Fears EC Green Paper Threatens ‘Country of Origin’ Principle

12 October 2001

Britain’s Advertising Association has requested an urgent meeting with European Commission officials following the release of an EC consultation document it feels could threaten the continent’s ad industry.

The Green Paper is designed to harmonise consumer protection laws across the EU and streamline marketing regulations. However, the AA is worried the proposals could jeopardise the ‘country of origin’ principle enshrined in the TV Without Frontiers directive, whereby ads abiding by the rules of the nation in which they were made can be broadcast in other EU states.

The scrapping of the country of origin practice could leave media owners open to lawsuits. For example, Sweden, where child-targeted TV commercials are forbidden, could take legal action against foreign satellite firms broadcasting programming containing such ads into the country from outside.

The AA, which has called for a meeting next month with Carina Tornblom, the EC official behind the Green Paper, fears the proposal will restrict competition and “do more to destroy the internal market than anything else.” Advertisers, it argues, will shy away from promoting their brands in many parts of Europe, with internet advertising hit especially hard.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)