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
Politicians and legislators across Europe appear to love imposing
draconian conditions on the communications business. We are the classic
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
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.