Update: Audio Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD)

30 May 2017
Update on the EU Culture Ministers General Approach to the revision of the Audio-Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).
Last week the EU Culture Ministers adopted a General Approach on the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) despite opposition from the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Finland, Denmark and Luxembourg delegations. The decision paves the way for ‘trilogue’ negotiations between the Council, the European Parliament and European Commission on the directive which sets out the basic rules for the European audiovisual sector, including for TV and video-on-demand advertising and alcohol and food advertising, as well as advertising to children and self-regulation.

Main areas of the Council's position which advertisers should be aware of include:
  • Maintenance of the current regime allowing sponsorship of all programmes, with the exception of news and current affairs programmes.


  • Increased flexibility on quantitative limitations with the 20% per hour rule changing to 20% per 24 hours. Member States are free to determine an additional “prime time window” not exceeding four consecutive hours, during which broadcasters may only allocate 20% of their airtime to advertising, in order to avoid having all the advertising placed during prime time.


  • Consolidation of country-of-origin principle, with jurisdiction rules and co-operation procedures strengthened to deal with problems whereby providers are established in one country but targeting an audience in another.


  • Extension of the scope of application of the rules governing advertising, sponsorship and product placement to video-sharing platforms.


  • Maintenance of current support for self- and co-regulatory codes for the advertising of HFSS food and beverages in children’s programmes, as well as for alcohol advertising. However, it is proposed that national authorities monitor and evaluate the codes of conduct, as well as apply sanctions to self-regulatory authorities.


  • Maintenance of the current definition of children’s programmes for food and beverage advertising as “children’s programmes”, whereas for sponsorship and product placement the definition will be changed to “children’s programmes and content primarily aimed at children”.


  • Extension of product placement from children’s programmes to “content aimed primarily at children” and to user-generated content and video sharing platforms.
Next steps: The final text agreed last week will be publicly available in the next few weeks. ‘Trilogue’ meetings with the Council are expected to start before the summer recess. The delegations which opposed the adoption of the text will table a statement which will be released together with the minutes of the meeting.

ISBA actions: ISBA will work with the WFA to carry out an in-depth analysis and assess the implication of the position once the consolidated text is available. Working with the WFA we will continue to engage with key players involved in the ‘trilogues’ and will keep members updated of important developments.

Find out more about the AVMSD here

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