Revised rules adopted for audiovisual media services

On 2 October 2018, the European Parliament adopted the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). It extends rules that have so far only applied to TV broadcast services to digital video-sharing platforms such as YouTube, Netflix and BBC. This will impact agencies’ possibilities to place advertising next to content on such platforms.

Under the new rules, video-sharing platforms will be obligated to protect minors from content that may impair their physical, mental or moral development through parental control systems and age verification tools. They also have to protect the public from content that incites violence against a group of persons or content which includes an activity that is a criminal offense by providing flagging and reporting systems.

Broadcasters will have more flexibility to decide the proportion of TV advertising in order to maximise advertisers’ demand and viewers’ flow. Between 06:00 and 18:00, 20% of the period can have advertisements and teleshopping. The same applies between 18:00 and 00:00.

For agencies, the provisions can facilitate the placement of adverts next to content that is considered safe for children and free from violence, hate speech and criminal content. Agencies should, however, be careful that the tools employed by video-sharing platforms will not be overly protective and unnecessarily limit where ads can be placed.

The vote ended a two-year negotiation process since the publication of the initial proposal in May 2016. During this time, EACA actively engaged with decision-makers to promote agencies’ interests. Read EACA’s position paper (2017) here.

Member States now have approximately two years to transpose the directive into their national laws.


For more information or questions, contact:

Sofia Karttunen
European Affairs Officer
EACA – European Association for Communications Agencies
Tel: +32 (0)2 740 07 12