Broadcasters welcome political advertising initiative; encourage co-legislators to address political advertising online and deliver on transparency

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Public and Private broadcasters welcome the European Commission’s legislative proposal on political advertising and call on bold transparency measures and a proper framing of the micro-targeting of political advertising online through the proposed regulation on the transparency and targeting of political advertising.

Broadcasters play a major part in informing the public, offering diverse opinions and content. As such, they are subject to heavy regulatory requirements at national and European level, including national laws and rules on political advertising. These requirements may define strict periods when political advertising is allowed during elections, disclosure obligations related to electoral campaigns for political parties or candidates, or simply bans on political and issue-based advertising. These rules are essential to national democratic processes and must not be undermined. On the contrary, the effectiveness of these obligations could be improved by creating similar rules online.

Indeed, political advertising is barely regulated in the online environment. Yet, targeted and sponsored political content, including issue-based ads, is rampant online with very little oversight, transparency and accountability. This regulatory asymmetry is not only harmful to the democratic process, but it also contributes to growing imbalance between online intermediaries and media services.

The political advertising initiative, which the undersigned organisations will examine in more detail, appears to be an opportunity to tackle problematic online advertising practices without undermining the sustainability of Europe’s media. In line with the objectives of the DSA, this new legislative proposal has the potential to improve the transparency of online advertising. It also has the scope to address problematic targeting and micro-targeting practices in the context of political advertising, while avoiding devastating effects on the European media landscape and on media freedom and pluralism in the EU. We therefore call on the co-legislators to seize this opportunity and tackle problematic online advertising practices through the political advertising initiative.




For more information, please contact the AER office in Brussels at aer(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)

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About Us

The Association of European Radios (AER) is the Europe-wide trade body for commercial radio, representing the interests of companies operating over 5,000 commercial radio stations to the EU Institutions. The AER’s mission is to promote the development of commercially-funded radio broadcasting in Europe, by advocating for a fair and sustainable economic regulatory framework for radio, which will, in turn, allow commercial radio to continue to deliver significant public value and, beyond that, support media plurality, improve social cohesion and promote European culture.