Advertising Association calls for delay in EU net rules

Europe’s lawmakers are under pressure to stall on the new regulations that may force advertisers to shun the internet for fear of walking into a legal minefield.

Europe’s lawmakers are under pressure to stall on the new

regulations that may force advertisers to shun the internet for fear of

walking into a legal minefield.



Industry lobbyists fear the changes could expose advertisers to the

threat of legal actions for unwittingly falling foul of laws in European

Union member countries.



Now the Advertising Association is calling on the European Council of

Ministers to delay rubber-stamping the rules, due to be implemented

early next year, until the problems are sorted out.



Lionel Stanbrook, the AA’s deputy director-general, warned: ’If these

rules go through it will mean that only the biggest companies could

afford to trade off websites in Europe.’



The crisis has been caused by EU moves to update a 1968 inter-government

agreement called the Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and bring it

under the EU’s wing.



In an effort to tighten up rules on so-called directed communications,

the EU proposed that website advertisers should be subject to local laws

rather than those of their own country of origin.



The plan has alarmed bodies such as the Direct Marketing Association

which fears that a website advertiser with a discount promotion could

face prosecution in Germany where such offers are illegal. Publishers

are also worried that they may be caught out by libel laws which vary

between EU member states.



The AA has raised the matter with the Department of Trade and Industry,

the Lord Chancellor’s office and front bench spokespeople.



’This could be a very costly error,’ Stanbrook said. ’Not so much for

big advertisers but for a lot of the smaller businesses.’



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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).