Who: Government of Argentina
When: June 2014
Law stated as at: 8 October 2014
New legislation in Argentina is currently a topic of discussion amongst some advertising agencies and production companies. Why? Because of the potential impact it could have on global advertising campaigns created for international clients who wish to air their TV ads in Argentina in addition to other multiple territories.
The potential campaign headaches stem from the introduction of Law 26.522 regarding Audiovisual Communication Services (referred to as “Ley de medios” or “LdM”). This legislation was enacted with the purpose that it would regulate audiovisual media services rendered in the Argentine territory and to develop mechanisms aimed at ‘promoting, de-concentrating and thriving’ competition where new information and communication technologies were concerned.
Amongst other things, the LdM establishes guidelines governing the operation of radio and television media in Argentina and so its provisions apply to all such broadcasts made from within Argentina or generated abroad but intended for re-broadcast or distribution within Argentina. It was enacted in 2009 to replace the previous broadcasting laws which had been enacted during the country’s military governance in the 1980’s. The legislation then came into effect in January 2014 and a grace period provided for compliance expired a few months ago in June.
What are the potential implications for global TV advertising campaigns?
The restriction which has come to the attention of UK advertising agencies and production companies looking after clients with global campaigns is Article 81 of LdM. This states that all ads aired via Argentine open TV, subscription services and national signals must be produced locally. Article 4 defines such “national production” as being a production where the programs and messages concerned:
1. were produced entirely in Argentina (with Argentinian authors, actors, artists, musicians, directors, journalists, producers, researchers and technicians making up no less than 60% of the total staff involved with the production); or
2. through a co-production with foreign investment in which case the participation of Argentine citizens or Argentine residents with Argentinian authors, actors, artists, musicians, directors, journalists, producers, researchers and technicians again making up no less than 60% of the total staff involved with the production.
Where option 2 is concerned, relevant “co-production” is considered to be the joint realization of one single spot or ad campaign by two or more production companies.
There is an exception to this rule. This is that if a broadcast ad has not been produced locally, it can be aired as long as it was produced in a country which has reciprocal laws applying in respect of the broadcasting of advertisement messages. The onus is on the ad agency/production company and the advertiser to prove such reciprocity exists to the satisfaction of the “Registro de publicidad audiovisual para televisión”.
Resolutions made in association with the LdM legislation require that every radio and TV ad to be broadcast in Argentina must be registered with the “Registro de publicidad audiovisual para televisión”. This means that broadcasters are only able to air ads that have been so registered. There is therefore an additional administrative task for a brand or its advertising agency or production company which needs to be factored into campaign project lead-times.
We also understand that any ad agencies or production companies that fail to register their client’s ads or present the proper paperwork could face suspension from the Argentinean Registry of Advertising Agencies and Production Companies for between one to twelve months and have any applicable license revoked.
Why this matters:
Advertising agencies and production companies need to make their global clients aware of this legislation if Argentina is a territory in which the client is likely to want their ad campaigns broadcast. There will be additional administrative procedures that will need to be followed which need to be factored into project lead-times The ad materials will also need to be produced in a way that means the campaign will be eligible to be aired in Argentina.
A related point is that if Argentina is a key territory for any particular clients, then Argentina will need to be considered as a location for ad production, otherwise co-production arrangements with local Argentinian production companies will need to be considered with careful records being kept of the nationality of all staff and crew working on the production to demonstrate that the 60% threshold of Argentinian nationals has been met.
Therefore agencies now have a number of new factors to place on the agenda of initial client meetings regarding any international ad campaigns which will target Argentina as well as other Latin American territories. Otherwise the client will find that they can only target Argentina through other non-broadcast means which may severely restrict the reach of their campaigns.