EPC protests against possible EC ad curbs

The European Publishers’ Council is running a press and online campaign promoting the freedom to advertise, in preparation for Sweden taking the EU presidency.

The European Publishers’ Council is running a press and online

campaign promoting the freedom to advertise, in preparation for Sweden

taking the EU presidency.



The campaign, which will run from 19 May for two months, will appear in

titles belonging to the 27 European publishing companies that make up

the council, including The Daily Telegraph and Financial Times groups

and Reed Elsevier.



The ads will guide readers to AdFreedom.com, a specially designed site,

where they can fill in a survey on advertising to be presented to

European Commissioners.



The move is a response to potential threats to advertising

categories.



The Swedish government has made clear its desire to ban advertising to

children and alcohol promotions when it takes over the EU presidency in

2001.



Tobacco advertising has already been outlawed by an EU directive, which

takes effect next year.



Angela Mills, executive director of the EPC, said: ’The campaign is

designed to say advertising is legal and does not hurt consumers. We

want to remind Brussels of the benefits of advertising.’



Patrick Willemarck, CEO of Grey Brussels, which created the ads, said:

’The campaign relays the message that modern consumers are educated

enough to tell the difference between reality and advertised

reality.’



The ads show people looking at ads in everyday situations and bear

straplines such as, ’No woman went broke from seeing a fashion ad.’



The EPC hopes to stimulate a dialogue between advertisers, the EPC, the

public and the EU.



Francisco Balsemao, EPC chairman and chief executive of Impressa in

Portugal, commented: ’Legislators will not decrease the number of

smokers, alcoholics or spoiled children by banning the advertising of

products that are available legally.’



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