Government poised to defend UK advertising industry

The Government has pledged its support for the advertising industry

in its battle to prevent new European Union rules protecting consumers

undermining agencies' freedom to run EU-wide campaigns.

The Department of Trade and Industry has moved to allay the fears of the

Advertising Association that an EU directive on consumer protection

could end the current rule under which an ad legal in its country of

origin can run in all 15 EU states.

The DTI said the EU proposals were an opportunity to enshrine into EU

law existing rules such as the "country of origin" provision and

Britain's self-regulatory system for monitoring ads.

British ministers will fight to ensure the industry's freedom are

safeguarded when plans outlined in a European Commission Green Paper

last month are turned into common consumer protection policy.

A DTI spokesman said: "The advertising industry can be sure the

Government is aware of its concerns and shares them."

He said the best outcome would be one set of rules for each member state

with consistency and clarity across Europe. The British Government will

argue that common standards for consumers should "complement but not

complicate" the internal market.

The DTI has asked industry groups, including the AA, to comment on the

Green Paper by December and will then finalise the Government's formal

submission to Brussels.

The AA's initiative is being headed by Sara Soltani, its director of

public affairs.


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