European Parliament urges ad self-regulation

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BRUSSELS -- The EASA (European Alliance for Advertising Self-Regulation) should become more proactive in helping the European ad industry regulate itself and in informing consumers of the principles and procedures of such control, the European Parliament agreed last week.

The decision was reached following heated discussions on the representation of women in advertising and the use of stereotypical or degrading images.

Views were split on the merits of European intervention. German MEP Marlene Lenz (CDU) claimed in her report, "Women in advertising," that national legislation is not sufficient and that the European Commission should organize self- regulation among member states.

However, not all MEPs agreed with her. Dutch MEP Larive believed more women should become involved in national self-regulatory bodies, while Italian MEP Santini pointed out that women are perfectly well capable of judging and rejecting advertising stereotypes.

Finally, it was agreed that national self-regulatory bodies should take greater initiative in informing consumers of the role and workings of self- regulation and that the EASA should take a stronger lead.

The EASA says self-regulation works best in Scandinavia, the U.K., Ireland and Holland and is less stringent in Southern European countries.

Copyright September 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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