Concern Over EU Television Agreement
There’s concern here over the agreement on television advertising rules reached among European Union ministers Monday.
Sweden fought unsuccessfully to get the rest of the EU to accept its bans on alcohol advertising and commercials aimed at children. The compromise tightens the rules on children’s advertising, allowing it only in programs longer than 30 minutes.
While under the new rules countries are free to impose their own higher standards, several Swedish commercial TV channels broadcast from Britain, and take advantage of that country’s more liberal legislation.
Sweden also tried to have receiving countries’ standards taken into consideration, but that too was rejected in favor of a call for bilateral negotiations.
The compromise is being hailed for keeping American style commercial television out of Europe. It generally limits advertising to 12 minutes per hour, and says films and news programs can only be interrupted once every half hour.
Product placement is also banned, although local exceptions are permitted.
The proposal now goes to the European Parliament.