Romanian Advertising Agencies Association (UAPR) asks Romanian Government to drop the Emergency Ordinance that seeks to modify the Audiovisual Law

Advertising, Business, Media

Romanian Advertising Agencies Association (UAPR) asks Romanian Government to drop the modification project, via Emergency Ordinance, that targets Romanian Audiovisual Law (Law 504/2002) and that breaks the principle of economic liberty, generating negative effects over the competitional environment of the market in which audiovisual media services providers are acting.

UAPR is an institution for which transparency is a main principle. Drafting a law project without consulting with dialogue partners and institutions that regulate and monitor the compliance with the economical liberties, transparency and competition principles puts a question mark over the declared desire of correct and non-discriminatory regulation of the market

Radu Florescu

CEO Centrade Saatchi&Saatchi Romania

UAPR President

UAPR rejects the proposal that seeks to introduce within the Audiovisual Law the article 291 because of the negative effects that would generate on the competition on the media audiovisual services market and that is in contradiction with the declared objective of the law proposal draft.

According to Governmental drafted proposal, Audiovisual Law will be completed with article 291, an article that stipulates:

Art. 291 (1) Any acquisition of advertising space on television cannot be made by an agent unless it is made on behalf and for the benefit of the final beneficiary of the TV advertising.
(2) Any price offers for the acquisition of TV advertising, presented by the agents mentioned at paragraph (1) to the final beneficiaries of the TV advertising, will be mandatorily confirmed in advance, in writing, with the broadcaster. The agents will also present to the broadcasters written mandates granted by the final beneficiaries of the TV advertising for which the price offers are requested.
(3) The object of the acquisition mentioned at paragraph (1) will be paid directly to the broadcaster by the final beneficiary of the TV advertising, based on the invoice to be sent by the broadcaster to the final beneficiary of the TV advertising. Any discount or tariff allowance, irrespective of its nature, granted by the broadcaster, must be mentioned on the invoice issued to the final beneficiary of the TV advertising.
(4) The agents mentioned at paragraph (1) may not receive a different payment or consideration than that which the final beneficiary of the TV advertising pays to them in order to remunerate the services provided, and no other material benefit, irrespective of its nature, from the broadcaster.

The modifications proposed in the draft Emergency Ordinance for Audiovisual Law’s modification have a profoundly negative impact on the competitional environment by favoring the broadcasters. The proposal limits the agencies’ rights to build media integrated campaigns and affect their possibility to use equally, unitary and undiscriminating the advertising spaces offered by media trusts.

The proposal limits the power of negotiations that media agencies – named “intermediaries” – have in their relationship with broadcasters and favors broadcasters monopoly over their own advertising space. Such a measure doesn’t offer any guarantees over diminishing certain costs for clients, the beneficiaries of the relationship with the broadcasters. The proposed measure distorts the competitional environment broadcasters are running their activities in.

The legislative draft proposal doesn’t take in consideration the complex role advertising agencies have as a consultant. Clients won’t have access anymore to consultancy services to identify the best formula to make compatible the needs of the client – economical agent – with public’s preferences and for implementing media campaigns in report with products’ / services’  characteristics, media consumers profiles and their consumption patterns. The draft proposal also affects the final consumer, that will have access to inferior quality information. Also, one must consider the fact that a radio-TV licence is being given exactly in order to inform the consumers.

UAPR is open to be an active partner in the public debate process related to the proposals to improve the audiovisual legislation, as it is preoccupied of solving this matter in a constructive way.

Last week, Paginademedia.ro informed that a project for an Government Ordinance creates waves on Romanian media market. The project could also affect CNA members (that could be fired by Parliament), but also the media agencies.

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