Newspaper Society urges amendments to Human Rights Bill

By ELEANOR TRICKETT, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 28 November 1997 12:00AM

The Newspaper Society is to bolster Britain’s self-regulatory system of advertising control against potential threats from judges and politicians.

The Newspaper Society is to bolster Britain’s self-regulatory

system of advertising control against potential threats from judges and

politicians.



The body, which represents the UK’s regional and local newspapers, is

insisting the Government must amend the bill incorporating the European

Human Rights Convention into British law if self-regulation is not to be

seriously undermined.



It is also calling for the Advertising Standards Authority not to be put

in jeopardy by the proposed Competition Bill amid fears that the ASA’s

codes and copy clearance procedures could be rendered unlawful, leading

to damages claims for anti-competitive behaviour.



At the same time, the society will put pressure on the Government, which

assumes the presidency of the European Union in January, to re-examine

its proposed ban on tobacco advertising or, at the very least, give an

undertaking that it will not extend it to other areas such as alcohol or

children’s snack products.



The society’s initiative is in response to a growing tendency by

advertisers operating in highly competitive markets to have ASA

decisions overturned by the courts.



David Newell, the society’s director, said: ’We feel the Human Rights

Bill and the Competition Bill will affect not only the ASA quite

fundamentally but all the other trade associations that make

self-regulation work. Unless the bills are amended the ASA is going to

get increasingly caught up in litigation.’



Meanwhile, the society is proposing to make media and advertising law

and copy services available to other trade bodies.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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