HomeInsightsEuropean press publishers express concern that European Commission’s review of Audiovisual Media Services Directive impacts media pluralism in field of advertising

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The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association and the European Magazine Media Association say that the European Parliament has approved the mandate for negotiations to begin between the Commission, Council and Parliament on changes to the AVMS Directive (2010/13/EU) despite persisting concerns in regard to the press sector.

ENPA and EMMA are concerned that the negotiations will start on the basis of a Parliament report on the proposal for an updated AVMS Directive that could “seriously compromise media pluralism and press freedom in Europe”, despite strong disagreement expressed in the different political groups.

In particular, the Parliament’s report advocates for isolated ad spots to be as admissible as any other advertisement, including during TV prime time, although this provision (Article 19) was not part of the initial European Commission proposal. Similarly, the text changes the hourly-based limitation in advertising rules to a daily percentage, which will fuel advertising during prime time hours. Further, EMMA and ENPA regret that press websites are included under the scope of the Directive although their principal purpose is not to offer videos. This brings into issue many press freedom questions.

As a result, ENPA and EMMA say that the mandate is “backing measures that are harmful to a free and economically independent press.” The Parliamentary report, which was adopted on 25 April and which is the basis of the mandate, supports further deregulation of the audiovisual advertising rules that neither guarantee consumer protection nor create the conditions necessary for media diversity and press freedom. To read the ENPA and EMMA press release in full, click here.