EU study quashes plan to ban ads for children

The European Union's comprehensive study looking at the impact of

advertising and teleshopping on children has concluded that there is no

need for further restrictions on advertising to children.



This conclusion should sound the death-knell for the Swedish

Government's plans for a European-wide ban on children's advertising.

The EU report examined the legislation, self-regulatory codes and

complaints about advertising to children across 15 EU member states. It

looked at advertising on TV as well as across press, outdoor, radio,

cinema and the internet.



Four main points were picked up in the EU's study. It concluded that the

EU's Television Without Frontiers Directive provided the most effective

and flexible framework to protect children. It felt that TV was more

heavily regulated than any other medium and that self-regulation

complemented the existing legal framework.



Sara Soltani, the director of the research and campaigning group, the

Children's Programme, said: 'We sincerely hope that this report will see

an end to calls for the kind of Draconian legislation at a European

level that would decimate investment in high quality children's

programming to the detriment of children across the EU.'



A spokesperson for ITV said: 'Broadcasters often have to counter the

argument that there is no effective statutory regulation of advertising

in and around children's programmes. The publication of 1,000 pages of

independent research setting out the measures in place across Europe

must forever bury this myth.'



The EU survey follows a stinging rebuke by Viviane Reding, a member of

the EU Commission, to Sweden's consumer affairs minister, Marita

Ulvskog, who has been backing the EU ban on TV advertising to

children.



Reding stated: 'I don't believe in a ban. It is not right to

discriminate between the media, so a ban on TV ads must also apply to

the internet and the printed media.'



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