European Parliament rejects restrictions on advertising to kids


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On 17th October, the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee adopted a draft report on “a new strategy for Consumer Policy”, which omitted a paragraph from the original draft, which called for a ban on TV advertising aimed at children under the age of 12.

The purpose of this report is to influence the European Commission's new Consumer Agenda, expected to be published jointly by the Commissioners for Consumer Protection and Justice in early 2012.

The report's first draft was prepared by Mrs Eva-Britt Svensson, a Swedish member of the European Parliament (MEP) of the European United Left (GUE/NGL), before she had to resign from her post for health reasons in August 2011. She had insisted that the protection of children from advertising be a key priority of her draft report, which was taken over by Cypriot far-left member Kyriacos Triantaphyllides.

Paragraph 13 of the first draft urged the Commission to “include the protection of children among the main priorities of the Consumer Agenda and [to] propose a ban on TV advertising and direct advertising aimed at children under the age of 12”.

The overall report was adopted with a large majority, but all members of the Socialist group abstained from the vote. Their coordinator, Evelyne Gebhardt, took the floor to explain the group's decision. “Although this is a good report and an important topic”, she said, “certain important positions were lost during the vote”. Her group could not accept the removal, in particular, of references to the protection of minors from advertising.

The draft report will be put to a vote in the European Parliament Plenary before the end of the year.

For more information, contact Will Gilroy at

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