AVMSD - Commercial Communications
Audiovisual Commercial Communications
What is “audiovisual commercial communication”?
A new term …
“Audiovisual commercial communication” is a new term that describes forms of promotions – in particular product placement –regulated by EU law for the first time, under the Audiovisual Media Services Directive.
It reflects the directive’s increased scope – covering television, on-demand services and emerging advertising techniques.
The rules in the directive that have not been changed in the update are still governed by the 2004 Commission Communication on new forms of advertising, such as split screen or virtual advertising.
What does it mean?
It means images designed to promote – directly or indirectly – the goods, services or image of a commercial body. The images can be included in programmes (e.g. product placement) or accompany them (e.g. traditional advertising).
Broadly, the term covers:
Rules for audiovisual commercials communications
All audiovisual commercial communications (TV and on-demand) must:
be readily recognisable
not use subliminal techniques
not use surreptitious techniques
respect human dignity
not include/promote discrimination (e.g. based on sex, nationality, religion)
not encourage behaviour harmful to health (see codes of conduct on fatty food), safety or the environment
not promote tobacco or prescription medication
Protection of minors
Audiovisual commercial communications:
must not cause physical or moral harm to minors
must not directly exploit minors’ inexperience or credulity
must not encourage minors to pressurise parents to make a purchase.
Further, audiovisual commercial communications for alcohol must not be aimed at minors or encourage excessive alcohol consumption
Official definition - Article 1(1)(h) of the AVMS directive
"Audiovisual commercial communication" means images with or without sound which are designed to promote, directly or indirectly, the goods, services or image of a natural or legal entity pursuing an economic activity. Such images accompany or are included in a programme in return for payment or for similar consideration or for self-promotional purposes. Forms of audiovisual commercial communication include, inter alia, television advertising, sponsorship, teleshopping and product placement. Article 1(1)(h)
1. Member States shall ensure that audiovisual commercial communications provided by media service providers under their jurisdiction comply with the following requirements:
(a) audiovisual commercial communications shall be readily recognisable as such.
Surreptitious audiovisual commercial communication shall be prohibited;
(b) audiovisual commercial communications shall not use subliminal techniques;
(c) audiovisual commercial communications shall not:
(i) prejudice respect for human dignity;
(ii) include or promote any discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, nationality, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation;
(iii) encourage behaviour prejudicial to health or safety;
(iv) encourage behaviour grossly prejudicial to the protection of the environment;
(d) all forms of audiovisual commercial communications for cigarettes and other tobacco products shall be prohibited;
(e) audiovisual commercial communications for alcoholic beverages shall not be aimed specifically at minors and shall not encourage immoderate consumption of such beverages;
(f) audiovisual commercial communication for medicinal products and medical treatment available only on prescription in the Member State within whose jurisdiction the media service provider falls shall be prohibited;
(g) audiovisual commercial communications shall not cause physical or moral detriment to minors. Therefore they shall not directly exhort minors to buy or hire a product or service by exploiting their inexperience or credulity, directly encourage them to persuade their parents or others to purchase the goods or services being advertised, exploit the special trust minors place in parents, teachers or other persons, or unreasonably show minors in dangerous situations.