Swedish TV channels defend right to carry ads targeting kids

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STOCKHOLM -- TV3, TV6 and Kanal 5, three Swedish controlled satellite- based commercial television channels broadcasting out of London, have denied media reports claiming Sweden's government is about to impose restrictions on ads targeting children under the age of 12.

In July, the three channels emerged victorious after a verdict from the European Court in Luxembourg which reaffirmed their right to carry and broadcast ads directed at children under 12. The case was the first time a Swedish complaint had been heard by the Court.

The European Court ruled that since TV3, TV6 and Kanal 5 all had ITC licenses allowing them to broadcast from the U.K., they were not obliged to adhere to domestic Swedish broadcasting laws. Sweden is alone of the 15 E.U. member states to still ban advertising targeting children.

Under the Court's ruling, the country has the right to object to and take action against certain ads, but may not impose a blanket ban on all ads carried by satellite television stations broadcasting into Sweden.

The new wave of rumors is based on reports from Brussels that the E.U. is about to review the principle of "country of broadcast origin," under which satellite television companies such as TV3, Kanal 5 and TV6 broadcast from the U.K. to Scandinavia.

Copyright November 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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