25 September 2008
The European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted today on a report on the Reduction of CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles, setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars. Some MEPs have been calling for more advertising provisions that would mean additional regulation for press and broadcasting but an EPC supported Amendment was carried today that reads: “From 1 January 2010, the information provided to consumers concerning the specific CO2 emissions of passenger cars shall be governed by Directive 1999/94/EC."
This EP report has been written in the context of the overall strategy to reduce CO2 emissions in cars. The European Commission is currently working on a revision of the CO2 directive (Directive 1999/94/EC) which is due to be published in November, although there has been no confirmation of this date.
The European Publishers Council (EPC) Executive Director Angela Mills Wade said: “We welcome the fact that the European Parliament has deferred to the CO2 directive and avoided precipitous action in an area that deserves further consideration. We call on the Commission to stand back and consider the implications for the media of overly restrictive rules in this sector. Consumers do not buy a car just on the basis of an advert: they shop around, they visit the showroom, they read about it in specialist publications and newspapers; they watch informative TV programmes; they go online…What’s more, if car manufacturers want to advertise their low emissions and strong performance, why shouldn’t they,so long as the claims are truthful and not misleading? Misleading advertising is already covered by an existing European directive. The media is yet again under the potential threat of more regulation when, in this case in particular, the media does so much to inform the public about cars and the environment.
“Before proposing further restrictions on advertising, we ask the Commission to consider the relative importance of the role of the press,TV and Internet in informing Europe’s citizens on a wide range of issues compared to the fleeting attention given to advertisements which serve a different purpose.
Mrs Mills Wade concluded: “If you restrict the freedom to advertise,ultimately, you restrict the media’s ability to communicate with the public. This debate is far from over and we will continue to fight against any advertising restrictions to support the media in Europe.
For more information, please contact Angela Mills Wade on Tel: +44 1865 310 732; Sophia Chrysopoulou on Tel: +32 2 231 1299 (Sophia.Chrysopoulou@europe-analytica.com); or Heidi Lambert on Tel: +44 1245 476 265.