The main policy areas EACA is currently focusing on:
Alcohol advertising is one of the most regulated forms of marketing. While in some countries almost all forms of alcohol advertising are banned, other countries have developed detailed and strict self-regulatory advertising codes for alcohol advertising.
Rules for alcohol marketing communications are stringent especially relating to minors. There are also considerable restrictions in the use of media for alcohol advertising in most European countries. 25 EU member states already have in place stricter rules than those at the EU level. The advertising industry has developed a range of successful and effective self-regulatory principles.
EACA advocates for responsible marketing and for clear reference to self-regulation in all EU legislation.
The Audiovisual Media Services Directive stipulates quantitative and qualitative advertising rules on TV and to certain extent other non-linear audiovisual media services.
The Commission has initiated a review of the Directive as part of the Digital Single Market package. The review process started in June 2015, when the Commission launched a public consultation to which EACA responded to. In May 2016, the Commission released a new proposal.
The ePrivacy Directive particularises and complements the data protection regulatory framework by setting-up specific rules concerning data confidentiality in the electronic communication sector. It is also ‘responsible’ for cookie banners often seen on different websites.
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was adopted in April 2016, and will replace the current Data Protection Directive to ensure modernised rules are fit for the digital age.
Given that the ePrivacy Directive complements the GDPR, it is currently reviewed and revised. The European Commission launched a public consultation asking stakeholders their opinion on many issues embedded in the ePD.
EU Strategy on eliminating gender inequalities expired at the end of 2015. One of its aspects was responsible gender portrayal and mainstreaming in advertising and media. EACA members are committed to responsible advertising standards with regards to gender stereotyping prevention. EACA has also developed a statement on gender portrayal that was accepted by our members (the leading international commercial communications agencies and the national associations of agencies in 30 countries across Europe). Find it here.
EACA and our members are very active on all data protection files as data are crucial for the advertising business. We engage with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Privacy Shield Agreement and the ePrivacy Directive. The GDRP is a new legal instrument of the EU regulating protection of personal data. It will enter into force in May 2018. Privacy Shield is an international agreement between the EU and the US on international data transfers allowing data to be transferred between these two economies under the condition that there is a high level of protection on both sides. Finally, the ePD, which is currently under review, complements the GDPR and stipulates specific rules for the electronic communications sector.
EACA supports transparent data collection and processing practices. We believe that consumers should be informed about how their data is being collected and processed and also for which purposes. EACA members uphold high standards of data protection throughout the whole process. We also believe that legislation should be complemented with self-regulation which covers data protection. We support international data transfers as part of a fully functional world digital economy. However, in our opinion an appropriate level of data protection should be instituted with adequate safeguards.
“Follow the money” is an initiative of the European Commission bringing the advertising community and rights holders to establish a multi-stakeholder dialogue aimed at disrupting the revenue flow for commercial-scale IP infringing activities through voluntary agreements. The Commission is currently working on a new Memorandum of Agreement to be signed by the end of this year and we are part of the process. EACA members do not support IP infringement and work only with responsible players in the advertising chain.
EACA is a founding member of the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA), a cross-industry self-regulatory initiative developed by leading European bodies aiming to introduce pan-European standards in order to enhance transparency and user control for online behavioural advertising (OBA). In 2013, EDAA launched the “OBA Icon”, a consumer-facing, interactive symbol that links consumers to an online portal, www.youronlinechoices.eu, where they can find information on the practice of OBA as well as a mechanism for exercising informed choice – if they so wish, consumers may ‘turn off’ OBA. Now also available on mobile.
Platforms are the world’s largest online businesses providing multiple services, often acting as social networks. The most known are Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter and others. Platforms are a new regulatory and technological phenomenon and as such they have received regulatory attention only in recent months. They are facing numerous challenges such as data processing and collecting transparency, abuse of dominant position, transparent search algorithms etc. EACA is engaged in all discussions surrounding this file.
The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD) is a major legislation concerning unfair business practices in the European Union. The Directive outlines "sharp practices" which are prohibited throughout the EU, such as misleading and aggressive marketing. Principles of honest advertising have always been at the forefront of our efforts. They are enshrined in the UCPD and in well-developed and effective self-regulation. EACA members uphold these standards throughout their work.
Within the digital advertising ecosystem, the associated issues of viewable impressions, (so-called) bot traffic and brand safety have become a growing concern. In the more sophisticated digital media markets (e.g. US, UK and other Northern European markets) various industry stake-holders have collaboratively identified the key challenges and begun to develop solutions.
The EACA and their members (primarily the national advertising associations and major agency groups across Europe) fully understand the importance of this subject and are actively encouraging, supporting and contributing to the process of designing effective remedies.
We are currently working with IAB Europe to produce pan-European trust seal. In the meantime, you can read IAB Europe White Paper to which EACA contributed.