UPDATED: EACA reacts to Romanian Government’s draft Emergency Ordinance aimed to modify Audiovisual Law

Business, Comm & Politics, Media

(adds info obtained by Hotnews.ro from Romanian Government’s Chancellery)

Romanian Hotnews.ro asked Romanian Government’s Chancellery the draft Emergency Ordinance project. As a result of this demand, the news portal received an answer saying the following: “Regarding your demand, we mention that the project you referred to is not of actuality anymore and we will send it to you when it will be again in Government’s attention

The answer comes after Romanian and international institutions took position related to the modification of Romanian Audiovisual Law through an Emergency Ordinance and without a real debate on the subject, in which to have involved all parties affected by the modifications.

European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA), umbrella body for all commercial communications agencies in Europe representing members from 29 European countries that together account for over 85% of the media bought in Europe, reacted in a letter to Romanian Government’s draft Emergency Ordinance aimed to modify the Audiovisual Law, calling for ” a proper consultation process with respect to this important question and to ensure that the interests of all relevant stakeholders are taken into account”

According to the letter, sent to Romanian authorities by Dominic Lyle, Director General EACA, Romanian members of the association noticed the organization on the draft emergency ordinance amending the Audiovisual Law no. 504/2002, which concerns the mechanism for the acquisition of advertising space held by the providers of audiovisual media services. According to the document, the draft is to be approved during a Romania’s Government session, on November 20th.

“We further understand that, although the Draft has been endorsed by the Legislative Court, it has not yet been officially presented to the Competition Council, nor has it been notified to the National Audiovisual Council”, the letter also mentions.

As it supports supports transparency in all dealings between agencies and their clients and media partners, EACA expresses its concern on some of the amendments proposed by the draft emergency ordinance, respectively the article 291,  same mentioned in an official UAPR position send to Romanian press on November 13th.

EACA estimates the draft has a major anti-competitive impact,  limits the negotiation power of the agencies in their relationship with the broadcasters, favours broadcasters’ monopoly over their own advertising space by eliminating the counterweight of their negotiation power from the agents and by making the terms of the mandate concluded by the final beneficiary with the agent known to the broadcaster. Moreover, the draft doesn’t define the notion of agent and does not take into account the more complex part that the advertising agencies play.

“The Draft does not comply with the emergency requirement which must be justified for the respective regulatory deed in its entirety. Because the draft does not meet the emergency condition according to this criterion, we think that it is not possible to make use of the only exception where the law allows the non-observation of the consultation obligation. Such exception can only be applied in some exceptional circumstances in order to avoid a severe prejudice to public interest, which is not the case here”, EACA also adds.

The letter was sent to Romanian Ministry of Justice, Romanian Government General Chancellery, Romanian Economy, Commerce and Business Environment Ministry, ANCOM (Romanian Authority for Communications Administration and Regulation) and also to Rasvan Popescu, President of Romanian Audiovisual Council and also to Bogdan Chiritoiu, President Competition Council.

EACA’s position comes after Romanian Advertising Agencies Association (UAPR) presented its point of view on the matter known on Tuesday and call for discussions on the subject.

As Paginademedia.ro informs, a project for an Government Ordinance started creating waves – initially silent one, but they became very vocal during last couple days – on Romanian media market. Besides media agencies, the project also affects CNA members (that could be fired by Parliament) and cable TV distributors.

One thought on “UPDATED: EACA reacts to Romanian Government’s draft Emergency Ordinance aimed to modify Audiovisual Law

Comments are closed.