AVMSD

AVMSD: ongoing lobby process        
The lobby process for the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) is in full swing. On 31 January, the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted its opinion on the AVMSD. This opinion should be taken into account in the final European Parliament’s position. This vote is a mixed result from a public health perspective, since several suggested provisions have been rejected. The main committee responsible for the file – Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) – will vote on its position in April.

Press Release – A call to free Europe’s youth from health-harmful marketing

 

 

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About: AVMSD – suggested improvements from 8 NGO’s to the General Approach – marketing to children and minors

Monday 25 September, Brussels

Dear …,

As you prepare for the upcoming trilogue meeting on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), we urge you to consider the following improvements to the General Approach to the Directive as adopted by the Council on 23 May 2017.[1]

Marketing of alcohol and food high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) plays a central role in the proliferation of diet- and alcohol-related harm in Europe.[2] We call on you to ensure the AVMSD facilitates the creation of effective national frameworks to minimise the exposure of children and minors to the marketing of these products.[3]

In particular we call on you to consider the following suggestions:

ARTICLES

 Article 4

Paragraph 3(b):

Maintain the text and the accompanying new recital as proposed in the General Approach. Current rules require Member States to prove that a Media Service Provider established itself in another Member State with the intention of circumventing stricter rules. The burden of proof associated with proving such an intention borders on the impossible. The changes proposed in the General Approach will ensure that the procedure outlined in article 4 functions as originally intended.

 Article 4a

Paragraph 1(d):

Add reference to ‘effective and proportionate sanctions’, as in the Commission proposal. Sanctions are recognised as important enablers to ensure compliance with codes of conduct.

 “d) provide for effective enforcement, including effective and proportionate sanctions.”

Paragraph 2:

Include public health organisations in the drawing-up of Union codes of conduct. Public health organisations can provide evidence on the impact of marketing on children and options to minimise exposure; they are key stakeholders and should be listed alongside consumer organisations.

‘Member States and the Commission may foster self-regulation through Union codes of conduct drawn up by media service providers, video-sharing platform service providers or organisations representing them, in cooperation, as necessary, with other sectors such as industry, trade, professional and consumer and public health associations or organisations.”

Article 9

Paragraph 2:

Add the option for Member States to restrict commercial communications during peak viewing hours by children. Restricting food advertising during children’s prime time viewing was found to result in the largest reduction in exposure to advertising of HFSS food when compared to other policy options.[4]

Advertising of HFSS food to children and minors is always inappropriate given EU member states’ legitimate concerns about child overweight and obesity; we therefore recommend deleting the word ‘inappropriate’.

“Member States are encouraged to use co-regulation and to foster self-regulation through codes of conduct as provided for in Article 4a(1) regarding inappropriate audiovisual commercial communications, accompanying or included in children’s programmes, or during peak viewing hours by children (…)”

Ensure that codes of conduct are effective, and not merely aim to be effective.

“Those codes shall aim to effectively limit the exposure of minors to audiovisual commercial communications”

Paragraph 3:

Ensure that codes of conduct are effective, and not merely aim to be effective, while adding the option for Member States to restrict exposure to commercial communications through statutory measures.

Advertising of alcohol to minors is always inapprorpriate; we therefore recommend deleting the word ‘inappropriate’.

Without prejudice to the adoption of statutory measures, Member States are encouraged to use co-regulation and to foster self-regulation through codes of conduct as provided for in Article 4a(1) regarding inappropriate audiovisual commercial communications for alcoholic beverages. Those codes shall aim to effectively limit the exposure of minors to audiovisual commercial communications for alcoholic beverages.”

Article 28A

Paragraph 1a:

Ensure that video-sharing platforms comply with the full range of provisions on the marketing of alcohol and HFSS food in this Directive. The current text limits the compliance to general principles only, without reference to provisions related to codes of conduct.

“Member States shall ensure that video-sharing platform providers comply with the requirements set out in Article 9(1) to 9(3)

Article 33

Request the Commission to produce a report on the effectiveness of co- and self-regulatory codes of conduct, and a report outlining an approach to protect children and minors from social media marketing for alcohol and HFSS food.

Add: “By […date no later than three years after adoption] at the latest, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, to the Council and to the European Economic and Social Committee a report evaluating the effectiveness of existing co-regulatory and self-regulatory codes of conduct as outlined in Art 9.2 and 9.3.”

“By […date no later than three years after adoption] at the latest, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, to the Council and to the European Economic and Social Committee a report outlining an approach to protecting children from social media marketing.”

 

RECITALS

 Recital 10

Ensure that the WHO Regional Office for Europe’s nutrient profile model, which was specifically developed for marketing to children, is referenced as a key tool to differentiate foods on the basis of their nutritional composition, as in the original Commission proposal.[5]

We remain at your disposal and look forward to discuss these points in further detail,

Sincerely yours,

 Undersigned organisations:

International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies (AIM)

European Academy of Paediatrics (EAP)

European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare)

European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing (EUCAM)

European Heart Network (EHN)

European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)

Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME)

IOGT-NTO

[1] Council of the European Union, Document (9691/17) of 24 May 2017

[2] Anderson et al. (2009) Impact of alcohol advertising and media exposure on adolescent alcohol use: A systematic review of longitudinal studies

WHO (2008) The extent, nature and effects of food promotion to children: a review of the evidence

[3] See updated policy options under Appendix III to the Global Action Plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases

[4] Kelly et al. (2007) The effects of different regulation systems on television food advertising to children

[5] “Certain widely recognised nutritional guideliens exist at national and international level, such as the WHO Regional Office for Europe’s nutrient profile model, in order to differentiate foods on the basis of their nutritional composition in the context of foods television advertising to children.” COM (2016) 287/4

Actual:

 Council of the European Union 

 Brussels, 24 May 2017 (OR. en)

 AUDIO 78 DIGIT 150 CONSOM 237 TELECOM 146 CODEC 922

 OUTCOME OF PROCEEDINGS From: General Secretariat of the Council On: 24 May 2017 To: Delegations No. prev. doc.: 8939/17 AUDIO 61 DIGIT 123 CONSOM 182 TELECOM 108 CODEC 745 No. Cion doc.: 9479/16 AUDIO 68 DIGIT 55 CONSOM 121 IA 28 TELECOM 98  CODEC 74 Subject: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2010/13/EU on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services in view of changing market realities (First reading) – General approach   Delegations will find attached the text on which a general approach was reached by the Council at its 3541st meeting held on 23 May 2017.1

 The text is presented in consolidated form for ease of reading. Normal font reproduces the text of the 2010/13/EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive which was not the subject of the amending proposal of the Commission. The text of the Commission proposal in the form approved by the Council is indicated in bold.

Passed:

  • Vote in Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food (ENVI) – 12 January 2017
  • Vote in Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) – 24 February 2017 
  • Vote in Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) – 5 December 2016
  • Deadline for amendments in Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) – 2 December 2016
  • Deadline for amendments in Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food (ENVI) – 1 December 2016
  • Event AVMSD: What about our kids? European Parliament – 1 December 2016
  • Debate in Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food (ENVI) – 29 November 2016
  • Consideration of amendments in Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) – 29 November 2016
  • Debate in Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) – 17 November 2016
  • Deadline for amendments from the European Parliament to the proposal of the European Commission – 19 October 2016