Excessive TV commercials land Spain in hot water

7th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

The European Commission is warning Spain to cut down on amount of TV advertising on Spanish screens or face being taken to court.

7 May 2008

MADRID - The European Commission has warned Spain to cut down on the amount of TV advertising on Spanish screens or face being taken before the European Court of Justice.

In a letter of formal notice, the Commission's first step before beginning legal proceedings, the EU executive argues that Spain is in violation of the Television Without Frontiers Directive, which seeks to harmonise broadcasting regulations across the 27-nation bloc.

Under the legislation, commercials must not take up more than 12 minutes of programming per hour, and must not be shown more frequently than every 20 minutes.

Through a loose interpretation of the rules, Spanish television channels regularly show adverts for up to 17 minutes per hour. They argue that teleshopping, infomercials and promotions linked to programmes fall outside of the 12-minute limit. Both public and private channels are at fault.

"Spain has not taken the requisite measures to ensure effective compliance with all the provisions of the directive. Everything must now be done to remedy this situation and to establish a genuine internal market for audiovisual media services," Viviane Reding, the EU media commissioner, said on Tuesday.

[El Pais / Expatica]

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