54 Marketing Trends found for Regulation / UK

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Google Provokes EU to Review Online Privacy Law

The European Union has proposed new privacy rules to protect citizens sharing personal data with websites such as Facebook and Google - a move that  will likely draw a line in the sand for privacy-promiscuous US tech companies. It is also likely to alienate the advertising and media industries on both sides of the Atlantic. Google and Facebook have already incurred the ire of EU regulators and politicians this year for collecting personal data without authorization - in particular the former's unauthorized collection of sensitive personal data whilst purportedly trawling the Europe's streets for StreetView data.

[Estimated timeframe:2011 onward]

The draft European Commission rules - snappily titled A Comprehensive Approach on Personal Data Protection in the European Union - imply the imposition of an online "right to be forgotten."

Such a dispensation would confer on EU citizens a legal right to demand that websites permanently delete already submitted personal data. The proposed rules also mandate that users give explicit consent before companies can use or process their personal data in any way. The mercifully brief (20-page) document also condemns website operators' current privacy policies as "opaque".

States EU Commissioner for Justice Viviane Reding: "The protection of personal data is a fundamental right. To guarantee this right, we need clear and consistent data-protection rules. We also need to bring our laws up to date with the challenges raised by new technologies and globalization."

The proposal recommends giving consumers the right to sue companies for privacy breaches and also proposes criminal penalties.

The Commission, the EU's executive branch, will submit the proposal as legislation next year. It will then be debated and amended by EU members and the European Parliament before becoming law.

In the interim, expect frenzied lobbying from all interested parties - plus loud howls of transatlantic indignation!

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5374

EU and Europe's Online Industry Shape Future Ad Regime

Behavioural targeting - Adland's current hot potato - was the subject of a meeting last week of European Union officials and representatives of the trade bloc's advertising and digital industries. The goal: to develop a self-regulatory framework that will police misuse of consumers' personal data for advertising purposes.The framework will build on the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Good Practice Principles and use the Your Online Choices website to promote transparency in data collection along with consumers’ privacy options.

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2011 onward]

The concordat may take a similar direction to moves in the US, where an icon on online ads tells users why they’re seeing them and how to opt out, under the CLEAR specifications released by the IAB and partner the Network Advertising Initiative.

According to IAB head of regulatory affairs Nick Stringer: "A pan-European website will be a starting point, giving more consumer control. 'Your Online Choices' will play an important role in letting consumers see where and why they get a cookie. We’re trying to get more companies to participate and sign up to the Good Practice Principles."

EU data protection regulators are reportedly arguing that current cookie usage does not meet the requirements of the ePrivacy directive due to come into force next year - this calls for ‘informed consent’ which means browsers set by default to reject cookies require users to go into the privacy settings and change their selection in order to accept an ad cookie.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MRweb.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5325

European Parliament Backs Standardized Food Labelling Scheme

European Union shoppers face a bewildering variety of processed-foods labelling - unsurprising given the plethora of products and languages within the economic bloc. A flaw exploited by many food manufacturers from within and outside the European Union. Last week, however, Euro-MPs backed plans for uniform food labelling within the EU, although rejecting as potentially alarmist "traffic light" colour-coding of foods perceived as unhealthy because they are high in fat, sugar or salt. Instead they opted for 'Guideline Daily Amounts' (GDAs), instead of red/amber/green warning labels.

But however slowly the Mills of God may grind, those of the European Union grind even slower ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 - 2013]

... in that last week's vote by MEPs is unlikely to lead to new food labels before three to five years have elapsed.

In the meantime, the new rules "make it clear that [the EU] won't stand for people being misled by food packaging". Key nutritional information, including salt, fat and sugar content, will have to be displayed on the front of the pack.

Country of origin is another area where MEPs and the European Commission feel that food labels can be misleading. They cite, for instance, Danish bacon, which is sometimes labelled "UK produce" even though the pigs were reared in Denmark.

Arguments are raging over how much information to give consumers on pack fronts. Food industry lobbyists fear an excessive administrative burden.

Legibility is also a key issue, with the EC proposing a minimum 3-millimetre font size for pack labelling.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5284

UK Media Minister Reneges on 'Bumpy' Regulatory Ride' for BT and BBC

Following thirteen years of avuncular regulation by the former New Labour administration, the UK's Big Media beasts - telecoms titan BT and broadcast behemoth the BBC - can anticipate a less benign regime, promised Jeremy Hunt (left) whilst in opposition. But in an interview with the Financial Times, the new government's secretary for Culture, Media, the Olympics and Sport failed to live-up to his pre-election rhetoric, making it clear that despite his rumblings in opposition, there'll be no iron media fist in a velvet glove. Indeed, the minister confesses to a degree of posturing ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 - onward]

... “when you’re in opposition, all you have is a megaphone and the media in order to make your argument,” he admits. 

But whilst in pre-election megaphone mode, Hunt belaboured the BBC and the UK’s largest telco, attacking the former's pay and perks for top managers and claiming BT’s plans for a superfast broadband network were inadequate.

Faced with the realpolitik of government and personal accountability, however, Hunt has become sweet reasonableness personified, vowing that the BBC’s editorial independence will “never” be undermined by the Con-Lib government, and paying a public tribute to BT ceo Ian Livingston for outlining post-election plans to expand the company’s superfast broadband network.

Hunt argues that the “single most important thing” the BBC does is hold politicians to account. On the debit side, however, he posits that the BBC’s “financial power” (a £3.6 billion annual licence fee compulsorily levied on taxpayers) must be a “positive thing that helps boost plurality in the market, rather than something that inadvertently crowds it out”. He intends to encourage commercial competition within the BBC at national and local level.

Meantime, secretary Hunt's ministerial gofers are examining ways of scrapping ITV's “contract rights renewal” regulations that cap ad rates - a restriction imposed half-a-century ago when the company was the nation's sole commercial broadcaster.

Hunt is also sympathetic towards ITV's statutory obligation to produce regional news, and has tasked Nicholas Shott, head of UK investment banking at Lazard, to consider how a modernised regulatory framework could nurture a new generation of local TV stations.

The new secretary also intends to relax cross-media ownership rules, a move he believes will enable the creation across England of between 30-40 new media companies - formed by local newspapers, radio groups and new media entrepreneurs - which will supply ITV with local TV news programmes.

Hunt rules out a government subsidy for any of these idealistic goals given the need to cut public spending.

All pigs fuelled and ready for take-off, Sir!


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5277

New UK Government Promises 'Best Superfast Broadband in Europe' by 2015

Delivering the keynote speech to a gathering of media and political denizens at London's ritzy private members haven The Hospital Club, Jeremy Hunt, Britain's new secretary for Culture, Media and Sport, promised to deliver "the best superfast broadband network in Europe” by 2015. This, Hunt averred, would provide greater flexibility for both video and audio broadcasters to exploit new technologies. He also promised a "far lighter" regulatory regimen for UK radio and TV broadcasters ....

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 - 2015]

... pointing to the regulations that currently set strict terms on what radio and television companies are required to broadcast in exchange for their public licences, Hunt promised a new liberality for broadcasters.

“If we’re going to promote innovation we need to move away from the microregulation of the broadcasting sector, and that means the approach to radio licences, it means the approach to public service broadcasting.

“We have to move beyond a system where wise people at Ofcom - the regulatory communciations hydra concocted by the former government -  are defining precisely what people are seeing ]and hearing] to the nth degree.”

"The government," said Hunt, considered the need to ensure taste and decency to be as important as ever but “more broadly speaking we do want to allow media companies greater flexibility to develop models than they previously had”.

As to his superfast broadband promise, "£47 million would be spent on pilot broadband schemes in rural areas. Existing infrastructure owners such as BT, Virgin Media and utility companies would be put under intense pressure, including the use of legal force, to share their assets in an effort to ensure high-speed broadband reached all areas of the country.

Hunt assured his listeners of his determination to avoid a two-tier broadband population. Instead, he would use public funds to prime the pumps of industry in getting speeds of 50 mega bits per second and more to rural as well as urban areas.

But arguably the new government's greatest commitment to change lay in Hunt's revelation that he has appointed investment banker Nicholas Stott of Lazards to assess the viability of adopting local, city-based media models similar to those in the USA [a move more likely to prove of benefit to investment bankers than media companies!]

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5247

BBC Revamps Online iPlayer Service to Resolve Competition Issues

Following intensive lobbying by its commercial rivals, British public service broadcaster BBC is to open-up its iPlayer internet service to other broadcasters, notably NewsCorp's satellite monopoly BSkyB and ITV - the nation's largest free-to-air commercial broadcaster. The deal will enable viewers searching iPlayer for, say, top-rated ITV soap 'Coronation Street' to find the latest episode and click-through to view it on ITVPlayer. Growled Erik Huggers, director of the BBC’s future media & technology unit, through gritted teeth: “This is what the web was made for: to link to each other.” The upgraded free service will offer a redesigned interface enabling viewers to access  ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 onward]

...  programme recommendations and seamlessly integrate with with Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft’s instant messaging service.

Insists Huggers:“This is about the BBC driving more traffic to the broader ecosystem of on-demand players out there. There is no sharing of technology going on.” Other new features include:

  • A BBC ID which will allow greater personalisation based on what users have previously viewed, enabling them to save “bookmarks” of series or shows that they can quickly access from any PC or mobile.
  • Improvements to live viewing of broadcast TV online, an activity that has undergone “big growth”; also enhanced video picture quality, which will auto-adjust to available broadband speed.
  • A facility to search for shows across a wide variety of non-BBC websites - a move that would help to establish the iPlayer as the first place viewers visit to discover a wide range of long-form [as opposed to short-form YouTube-style] online video .
  • Traffic redirection via searches and programme listings to ITVPlayer, Channel 4’s 4oD, Demand Five and Arqiva’s SeeSaw .

The BBC's hope is that these improvements will make iPlayer a more regular destination for viewers, as opposed to a site they visit only to watch a programme missed when originally aired.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5205

UK Regulator to Probe Nation's Outdoor Advertising Market

The "highly concentrated centre" that comprises Britain's outdoor advertising market (estimated annual worth £600 million), is set to undergo a fullscale investigation by the government's Office of Fair Trading. The watchdog will particularly focus on commission payments passing between site-owners and media agencies. Of especial interest to the regulator are  ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q4 2010 onward]

... the two biggest specialist buying shops Aegis Group-owned Posterscope and WPP Group's Kinetic. Also under the OFT's magnifying glass will be the dominant outdoor media-owners JCDecaux, CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel International and Primesight.

Declares the OFT's senior director of infrastructure Heather Clayton: “The cost of all forms of advertising is reflected in the price consumers pay for goods and services.”

“This market study into outdoor advertising will take a look at whether the market works well in terms of offering firms and local authorities deals that are fair, competitive and transparent.”

According to the OFT, the sector has a “complex, multi-levelled structure” which is “highly concentrated at the levels of the specialist buyers and outdoor media owners”.

The probe will determine whether the current structure has distorted the market or prevented others from entering, with particular regard to commission payments between media owners and agencies, plus the contracts via which local authorities lease property to billboard operators.

Reveals a statement issued by the regulator: “The OFT understands that some contracts might contain clauses that prevent local authorities from dealing with other outdoor media owners or with advertisers directly. This may be to the detriment of local authorities and therefore the taxpayers that fund them.”

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5192

Diabetes Experts Tell UK Government to Impose 'Total Ban' on Child-Targeted Junk Food Ads

Addressing the Royal College of Physicians' conference in Edinburgh, Dr Scott Ramsey led a demand by over one hundred diabetes experts that the UK government impose a "total ban" on all forms of "unhealthy" food ads that target children. The physicians argue that current restrictions on TV advertising during children's programmes should be extended to all media, including newspapers, magazines online and billboards.

[Estimated timeframe:2010-onward]

Said Dr Ramsey: "Rates of obesity and diabetes are continuing to increase at alarming rates and pose one of the most serious health challenges of this time. In response to this situation, diabetes experts from across the UK have come together to call on the Scottish and UK governments to demonstrate greater leadership in tackling this crisis.

"In particular we believe that ... this should involve tighter regulation of the food and drink industry and the extension of restrictions on 'less healthy' food and drink advertising in children's television programmes to all forms of advertising aimed at children."

According to the experts, preventing an increase in the number of youngsters who are obese would also cut the risk of more people developing Type 2 diabetes.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: mad.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5186

EU Fires Warning Shot Across Bows of Credit Rating Agencies

 The European Commission is mulling the formation of a new agency to rate the credit standing of its member governments. "If you look at Greece, for example, I was quite surprised by the rapid deterioration in its [credit] rating," admits Michel Barnier, Commissoner for oversight of  financial services. Accordingly M. Barnier proposes to take a long, hard look at the activities of the global triad of credit rating agencies - Standard & Poors, Fitch and Moody's: "I think we need to go further, to look at the impact of the ratings on the financial system or economic system as a whole. The power of these agencies is quite considerable not only for companies but also for states." Among the restraints under consideration by M. Barnier are ...


[Estimated timeframe:2010 onward]

... a new EU-sponsored  agency to rate the credit standing of member governments. This would challenge the global muscle of the global credit rating triopoly which, say critics, is so powerful that its judgements become self-fulfilling prophecies.

According to these critics, a downgrade by one or all the Big Three can push fund managers either into selling government bonds, or refusing to buy newly issued bonds.

Such negative gradings depress the value of the bonds and raise future borrowing costs - a sequence of events that puts further strain on a government's finances and could - theoretically - lead to further downgrades.

It's precisely that kind of vicious circle Greece has been fighting in recent months - a syndrome that irks M. Barmnier and his fellow officials in Brussels.

Accordingly the Eurocrats are considering how best to exercise their power to control the activities of  the rating agencies.

In 2009 the Triad was accused of failing to assess the size and risk of the US housing market's bad debt  - debt that was subsequently repackaged and resold around the world, triggering multi-billion pound losses.

The threesome later admitted their assessment of securities backed by sub-prime mortgages was incorrect. And how!

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5169

UK Cellphone Networks Launch Handset Call Recorders

In anticipation of proposed new financial services regulations, UK mobile operators are rolling-out new services that enable banks and other corporate accounts to record the conversations on company-owned cellphones. Says Vodafone Global Enterprise ceo Nick Jeffery, who is responsible for the company's top 600 corporate clients: "Because the finance sector is important to us, we have good visibility of the pressures they're under."

[Estimated timeframe:Q4 2010 onward]

Vodafone last week formally launched a recording service for clients in Western Europe following year-long trials with selected financial services clients. The Orange network launched a kindred service earlier this month.

Both services utilize an application on the handset that channels all inbound and outbound mobile calls via a central server, which records and stores all voice and keystroke content.

The devices are designed to comply with expected new Financial Services Authority regulations which would require banks and other financial operations to record all mobile communications relating to sales orders and transaction negotiations.

The requirement already applies to such communications on fixed lines and recordings must be retained for six months. The FSA is now considering extending the requirement to cellphones, strating from the end of 2010 followed by a twelve months transition period.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5151

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