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The IJC Launched A Study on Advertising

11 November 2016
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At a public debate on Thursday, November 10, the Independent Journalism Center launched a study titled “Evaluation of the Legal Framework Regulating Advertising, and Recommendations on its Optimization”. Its authors are media expert Ion Bunduchi and lawyer Eugeniu Ribca. The event was attended by MPs, members of the Broadcasting Coordinating Council (BCC), representatives of the Competition Council and Consumer Protection Agency, journalists, representatives of advertising agencies, etc.
The IJC Executive Director Nadine Gogu underlined at the start of debates that experts and journalists had lately been signaling about defects in the regulation of advertising. “Based on this study, recommendations will be made on amending legislation or even developing a new law, if we find it opportune. After amendments are developed, we will again discuss with you, so that when we send the amended version or a new law to the parliament, we can be sure that the law or amendments will eliminate the existing defects in this area and won’t make some provisions even more confusing. We wish to have an improved and functioning legal framework,” Nadine Gogu said.
The authors presented the data of the study, after which participants made proposals on its improvement. Ion Bunduchi referred to the definition of terms in the law on advertising. According to the expert, given the definition of advertising in article 1, “advertising enables selling people.” “At the local and regional level we have 52 broadcasters. They take 3.8% of financial resources from the advertising market. That is how distorted this market is. The remaining 48 broadcasters get 97%. The study contains a comparative analysis of how advertising is distributed in our country and other countries, so that certain trends could be seen,” the author said.
Lawyer Eugeniu Ribca drew attention to the fact that the law is already outdated. “We need radical modifications to this law or a new law, establishing generally what refers to commercial advertising, on the one hand, and non-commercial advertising, on the other hand. Many of the televisions don’t read the law on advertising, because what we have in the law, we also have in the Broadcasting Code. We must clearly distinguish what political and electoral advertising is,” the lawyer underlined.
The last report on statistics in advertising was produced by the Competition Council in 2010. Since then, no one needed such reports. There is only the one of the Association of Advertising Agencies, “which is in contradiction with other BCC reports,” said the moderator of the event, journalist Ion Terguta.
Ludmila Andronic, chairman of the Press Council, also finds that a new law is needed, because over years, the advertising market of Moldova changed a lot: “In my opinion, we need a new law, which would take into consideration the limits between advertising and broadcasting.”
Galina Zablovscaia, executive director of the Association of Advertising Agencies, expressed readiness to collaborate on improving the law. “If we speak about modifying the law on advertising, I am ready to collaborate.”
Present at the event, Vladimir Hotineanu, chairman of the parliamentary commission on media, expressed intention to continue collaboration with experts on this issue. “In fact, the commission should get recommendations from the civil society and mass media, because they are direct beneficiaries. We, together with the commission on legal issues, must find instruments in order to be able to comply with the existing rules,” the MP said.
This activity is supported financially by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency through the Embassy of Sweden in Chisinau.