Last night the French Assembly adopted an amendment re-introducing a ban on commercial advertising during and around children’s TV programmes on public broadcasting.
On 16 December, the Assembly’s Committee for Cultural Affairs and Education adopted an amendment put forward by Socialist representatives removing the ban originally proposed by the Senate. Instead, the amendment suggested inviting the Government to submit a report on the financial impact of a potential advertising ban, by 30 June 2017.
However, following a debate in the Assembly last night, French representatives adopted amendments to the text which:
- *Reintroduce a ban on commercial advertising fifteen minutes before and after TV programmes for children under 12 on public channels and on their websites;
- *Request the Broadcast Authority (CSA) to submit a report to Parliament assessing whether commercial communications around children’s programmes support the government’s public health objectives and to make recommendations to improve advertising self-regulation;
- *Request the adoption of a decree by the Council of State to regulate commercial communications around children’s programmes on both public and private channels.
Fleur Pellerin, Culture and Commission Minister, reiterated her support to advertising self-regulation and to the CSA «Food Charter». She also insisted on the financial loss such a ban would inflict on public broadcasting.
Next steps: The amended text was sent back to the Senate for re-examination where discussions should resume on 9 March. The Senate can adopt the text as such if no modifications are introduced. If amendments are introduced in the Senate, the text will be sent back to the Assembly. In case both chambers fail to reach an agreement, the government can appoint a joint commission of representatives from both chambers to agree on a common text.
WFA priorities: WFA's member association in France, UDA, will continue to lead the industry engagement. WFA will support the local efforts to demonstrate that the advertising standards in place (covering placement and content) are more effective at delivering on the objective of protecting children than blunt time-based restrictions.
Director of Legal and Public Affairs
World Federation of Advertisers