36 Marketing Trends found for Regulation / UK

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UK Finally Legalises TV Product Placement

After half-a-century of covert deals, Britain's commercial TV companies have been given the legal green light for paid placement of products and brands within TV programmes - thanks partially to the landslide slump in traditional advertising and the remorseless lobbying of the main ad-funded terrestrial TV companies - ITV, Channel 4, and RTL-owned Five. But many onlookers fear this will open the PP floodgates to the detriment both of TV programme quality and conventional TV ad revenues.

Britain's Culture, Media and Sport secretary, politician Ben Bradshaw, hailed the move as an “important departure” and said on Tuesday that the Brown administration will legislate to allow TV product placement. It will do this by enacting a European directive from 2007 which the European parliament originally said should have been implemented by the end of last year.

Clearly reluctant to admit to pressure from the politically unpopular EU, Bradshaw claimed: “Not to do so [legalise PP] would jeopardise the competitiveness of UK programme makers as against the rest of the EU, and this is something which we cannot afford to do.”

The concessions do not extend to the publicly-funded BBC; whilst commercial channels' current affairs, consumer and religious programmes will also be exempt from product placement. As will news bulletins and shows targeting children.

As predicted, the government will also forbid placement of products such as alcoholic drinks, foods that have high levels of fat, salt or sugar, OTC medicines, baby milk, gambling and smoking.

Estimates of the annual revenues generated by PP range between £25m and £100m, and will compensate to some extent for the ongoing decline of the £3bn market in TV advertising - forecast to continue until 2012.

According to Bradshaw, continuation of the longstanding ban would deny the ailing TV companies a new income stream “at a time when this crucial part of our creative industries needs all the support we can give it”.

Denmark is now the sole EU member-state to resist introducing product placement.


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: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5030

UK Mulls Castration of Cigarette Brands by Generic Packaging

Battle lines are being drawn-up in the UK, the combatants promising, like Virgil: "Wars, horrible wars, and the Tiber foaming with much blood." The cause over which this battle will be fought is the UK government's threat to impose generic packaging for all cigarette brands as a key element of its campaign to slash smoking rates by half over the forthcoming decade. The monolithic British American Tobacco Company promised that the UK government would have "a huge fight on its hands" if it tried to dictate the way in which cigarette brands are packaged.

The tobacco barons' call to arms came in response to the UK Department of Health's announcement earlier this week that it will consider mandating generic packaging for all cigarettes as part of an hawkish campaign to halve smoking rates by 2020.

Such packs would be uniform white or brown with logos or other colors banned and the brand name in a simple typeface. Large health warnings would feature on the packs, as they do already.

The report, drawn up by health officials, describes the currrent guileful packaging as a "silent salesman" for tobacco brands, claiming that without such packaging, consumers would be more likely to heed the health warnings and less likely to fall for the line that some tobacco brands are less harmful than others.

In response, the tobacco lobby predictably went straight into attack mode, threatening "a huge fight" and issuing a blustering non sequitor that "brands are valuable corporate assets and the government risks breaching various legal obligations relating to intellectual property rights, international trade and European law".

The proposals also require cigarettes to be removed from display instore and kept out of shoppers' sight.



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Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5010

EU Trains Crosswires on Behavioural Ads

European Union WonderWoman, aka Viviane Reding, EC Commissioner for Information Society and Media, is threatening Draconian new laws to curb privacy-breaching technology like airport body scanners. Also in the intellectually muscular Reding's sights is the fast-metastasizing social networking industry which - she believes - is not doing enough to  protect children using its services.

In a speech to mark the EC's Data Protection Day, Reding (pictured) revealed she is studying more than 160 responses to proposed changes to data protection law - most of which favoured stronger rules. The Commissioner also believes there must be greater clarity as to how key principles like consent and transparency work in practice.

This would ensure ...

  • That data was safe no matter where the data controller was located.
  • There should be promotion of 'privacy by design'.
  • There would be stronger enforcement.

She told attendees that the basic principles of data protection should cover all areas of European life including police and judicial and dealings with countries outside the EU, with a knowing nod in the direction of the USA.

And she was scathing about body scanners - which this week have been rushed into British airports in a kneejerk response to the Christmas Day pants-bomber debacle. Said Reding: "I am convinced that body scanners have a considerable privacy-invasive potential. Their usefulness is still to be proven. Their impact on health has not yet been fully assessed. Therefore I cannot imagine this privacy-intrusive technique being imposed on us without full consideration of its impact."

Reding then turned her crosswires on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, warning that children's profiles on such sites should be private by default.

She also voiced her concern about behavioural advertising -  notably the British government's laissez-faire response to behavioural-tracker Phorm, in reagrd to which Reding has launched an infringement procedure against the Brown administration.

She said: "For me it is clear that without the prior informed consent of citizens their data cannot be used."

This lady doesn't mark-time. She will report back on 9 February as to the progress made in discussing these issues with the organisations concerned.

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

Source: TheRegister.co.uk
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5002

European MPs vote for new telecoms law

The European Parliament has approved an EU-wide major overhaul of telecoms law across Europe. The package includes a provision for "internet freedom" - the first time it has been referred to in EU law as a fundamental right. Member states have until May 24 2011 to include the legislation in their own rules. To the chagrin of vested commercial interests, the new law clashes with - and will presumably overrule - the introduction in France and the UK of controversial laws that will enable persistent illegal downloaders to be deprived of their internet service.

Protecting internet access and users' rights was a high priority for MEPs hammering out the Telecoms Package.
Many critics say the eventual compromise solution is too weak and will not prevent disconnections.

Other measures in the telecoms package include an aim to harmonise the way mobile broadband is rolled out across the EU, which would help in the push to achieve 100% broadband coverage in Europe by 2013.

It also seeks to improve co-operation between member states' telecoms regulators and make it easier for incumbent operators to both provide and buy network services.

A law on citizens' rights aims to improve how quickly customers can change their mobile telephone number and strengthen personal data and privacy protection by, for example, allowing users to opt in to the use of cookies.

Fair hearing
Perhaps the most scrutinised part of the package is that which relates to file-sharing. It comes as individual member states introduce tough penalties for those who download content illegally.

France has introduced a "three strikes" policy for those who share illegal content. If letters fail to stop them, illegal file-sharers risk being disconnected. And the UK's Digital Economy Bill also seeks to impose technical restrictions, including disconnection, on persistent pirates.

Earlier this month, MEPs agreed on a compromise solution to protect user's rights which read: "A user's internet access may be restricted, if necessary and proportionate, only after a fair and impartial procedure including the user's right to be heard."

What the fair and impartial procedure will mean in practice is, as yet, unclear.

MEPs also agreed that restrictions on a user's internet access can only be taken "with due respect for the principle of presumption of innocence and the right to privacy".

But an earlier amendment which ruled that any application for cutting off internet access must go through a judge was rejected.

Some critics say the compromise is too weak while some lawyers argue that it could put the UK's newly introduced Digital Economy bill at odds with the Telecoms Package.

Meanwhile protests over the UK bill have grown, with 11,000 signing an e-petition against it while others predicted "civil unrest" as a result of the bill.

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: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4937

UK regulator recommends reducing media ownership rules

Ofcom today published its report to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on recommended changes to the media ownership rules.

The final report draws from evidence published in our consultation document on 31 July 2009 and stakeholder responses to that consultation.

It recommends two main changes:

  • Removing the rules around local radio service and multiplex ownership and national multiplex ownership. For local services, this means that all local commercial radio stations could be owned by one operator in a local area, alongside the BBC local radio services; and
  • Liberalising the local cross media ownership rules so that the only restriction is on ownership of all three of: a local radio station; local newspapers (with 50% or more of the local market share); and a regional Channel 3 licence.

These recommendations could help maintain local content, by increasing flexibility for media companies. They would also reduce the regulatory burden on the local media sector and the radio industry in particular.

Consumers still rely on television, radio and press for news, so complete removal of the local cross media ownership rules could reduce protection for plurality.

We have based these recommendations upon our recent analysis of the local media sector – set out in our discussion document Local and Regional Media in the UK - published in September.

Reducing regulations

Our recent consultation on localness regulation for commercial radio, which closed on 23 October, also made a series of proposals aimed at reducing the regulatory burden on the radio sector, while protecting the local content that listeners value.

All of our proposals are recommendations to the Government in line with Ofcom’s statutory duty, under section 391 of the Communications Act, to review the media ownership rules and report to the Secretary of State at least every 3 years. This is our second review of the media ownership rules. Our last report was in November 2006.

Any decisions on these issues are a matter for Government and Parliament. Our radio proposals require legislative changes that the Government has proposed to include in its planned Digital Economy Bill.

Ed Richards, Ofcom’s Chief Executive, said: ‘In line with our statutory duties, we have today set out recommendations for Government and Parliament. These proposals would allow local media companies more flexibility to respond to the challenges that they are facing while at the same time protecting plurality for listeners and viewers; it is for Government and Parliament to take any decisions in this area.’

Read the full statement

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

Source: Ofcom UK
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4914

EU Takes Action Over UK Internet Privacy Violations

The European Union started legal action against Britain on Tuesday for not properly implementing EU privacy rules to protect personal electronic data. The EU also warned that it could force social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace to hide minors' profiles from search engines.

[Estimated timeframe:2009-]

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: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=3911

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