CAMPAIGN INTERNATIONAL: Opinion/Putting advertising’s case in Europe

Four freedoms are guaranteed by the European Community Treaty: the free movement of people, goods, services and capital. However, the spirit of this agreement seems contrary to the reality of Europe’s present position, where it flounders in excessive over-regulation, only to lose business to more nimble companies in the United States and Asia.

Four freedoms are guaranteed by the European Community Treaty: the

free movement of people, goods, services and capital. However, the

spirit of this agreement seems contrary to the reality of Europe’s

present position, where it flounders in excessive over-regulation, only

to lose business to more nimble companies in the United States and

Asia.



Politicians and legislators across Europe appear to love imposing

draconian conditions on the communications business. We are the classic

soft target.



The political crusaders harangue an apathetic and ill-informed

electorate about our supposed shortcomings at little or no risk to their

own power base. It is much easier to ban advertising than it is to raise

taxes.



We are not totally blameless for our present conundrum, despite the

tremendous energies expended by the industry’s associations to defend

their members’ rights to advertise. But it also takes the personal

efforts of the industry’s star performers whose strong characters and

powers of persuasion can play a pivotal role in ensuring that the noose

is not tightened even further around our necks. For a group of

individuals so skilled at promoting the products and services of their

clients, the vigour with which they defend their own business seems

rather paltry. My hope is that they will not wait until the horse has

bolted right out of the paddock before they close the stable door and

attempt to take remedial action.



Let’s give up the ’navel gazing’ and redouble our efforts to communicate

advertising’s worth to the people of influence in the EC who drive the

wheels of industry and commerce. An attitudinal change at this level

will eventually permeate down to the community at large.



The central theme of the International Advertising Association’s message

is that advertising creates and encourages competition, product

innovation and jobs. It plays an indispensable role in the market

economy and supports a degree of variety in the media that would

otherwise be financially unsustainable.



It is up to each one of us to stand up and be counted and to defend the

foundations on which so much economic enterprise has been created.



Do you have an issue you would like to write about? Send your opinion

(450 words) to Karen Yates, Campaign, 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6

7JP. Fax 44171 413-4507.



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