Now in its third edition, the “Blue Book” is a useful resume of the state of European self regulatory systems for ads.
Topic: Self regulation
Who: The European Advertising Standards Alliance ("EASA")
When: Spring 2001
EASA or the "Alliance" as it is otherwise called, recently published the third edition of its "Blue Book" analysing advertising self regulatory systems in 22 European countries. EASA is a not for profit organisation set up in Brussels in 1992 to bring together advertising self regulatory organisations ("SROs") across Europe and promote the cause of self regulation. In its "state of the nation" summary, the Blue Book highlights the maturity and wide remit and responsibilities of the SROs of Ireland, UK and the Netherlands and the UK’s statutory authorities for regulating broadcast advertising, which are unique in Europe. In Germany and Austria the advertising environment is dominated by extensive legislation and self regulation limited largely to matters of taste and decency, while in Denmark, Sweden and Finland self regulation is marginalised, with a "Market Court"/"Consumer Ombudsman" system holding sway. Italy on the other hand has a unique, quasi legal self regulatory system whose procedures include formal hearings before a jury, while France’s self regulatory system is the oldest established in Europe. Also, because of France’s detailed advertising legislation, the French SRO, uniquely in Europe, offers legal advice to advertisers and not just advice on its own Code. Spain and Portugal’s self regulatory systems have both recently been overhauled and are achieving ever greater recognition, while Greece is in the process of developing an independent SRO. Looking east, the Alliance reports the assistance it has given on the setting up of systems in the region, with the Czech and Slovak Republics, Slovenia, Hungary, Russia and Poland all having created SROs in the last decade and Romania and Lithuania well on the way.
Why this matters:
If heavy handed, inflexible and often out of step with technology legislation is to be avoided, the Alliance must keep up the good work in promoting the self regulatory cause across Europe and beyond. One welcome piece of EU legislation in the sector, however, might be a Directive harmonising Europe’s advertising regulatory systems!