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IRIS 2017-1:1/13

France

Ban on advertising in children’s programmes on public TV finally adopted

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Amélie Blocman

Légipresse

On 7 December, the Senate finally adopted, by 213 votes to 0, the bill tabled by a Green Party MP banning commercial advertising in children’s programmes on public television.

Article 1 of the bill supplements Article 14 of the Act of 30 September 1986 and states that advertising in these programmes will be regulated under a Council of State decree. It also gives the national audiovisual regulatory authority (Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel - CSA) a monitoring and advisory role. Each year, the CSA will have to submit to parliament “a report evaluating the actions taken by audiovisual communication services to ensure that commercials broadcast during programmes aimed at young people respect public health objectives and the fight against high-risk behaviour, and making recommendations to improve self-regulation of the advertising sector”.

Article 2, which amends Article 53 of the 1986 Act, provides for a ban, from 1 January 2018, on commercial advertising during public television programmes aimed at children under 12, and for 15 minutes before and after such programmes. This ban also applies to all messages transmitted on the websites of national television services that offer this type of programme.

Noting that, with 8.3 million youngsters aged between 4 and 14, France now has the largest “children’s” market for television advertisers, ahead of the United Kingdom and Germany. The bill’s authors plan to “strictly limit the effects of advertising in programmes aimed at young people broadcast on public television channels”, especially its impact on childhood obesity. However, the ban does not concern private channels which, for their part, are self-regulated under the CSA’s supervision.

The resulting loss in revenue for France Télévisions (EUR 17 million of advertising income plus EUR 3 million to produce programmes to replace the advertising windows) is accounted for in the France Télévisions draft contract of objectives and means for 2018 onwards.

References
Loi n° 2016-1771 du 20 décembre 2016 relative à la suppression de la publicité commerciale dans les programmes jeunesse de la télévision publique FR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=18308
 
  Act no. 2016-1771 of 20 december 2016 banning commercial advertising in children’s programmes on public television