Red Tape Watch

New Euro TV ad edict spells more of the same for kidnets
January 1, 2007

New Euro TV ad edict spells more of the same for kidnets

The European Parliament is supporting a controversial overhaul designed to relax TV advertising standards, but they won’t stray far from the rules that kids broadcasters in EU countries already adhere to. The revisions move to increase the frequency of commercial breaks to every half hour. That’s a step up for dramas, which can only broadcast ad breaks every 45 minutes now, but the standard for kids and news programming is already 30 minutes. The Parliament also amended the ban on junk food advertising, much to the dismay of consumer groups, recommending that service providers develop a voluntary code of conduct in kids programming to keep watch on foods high in fat, sugar and salt.

EU favors filters and .kid domain for web safety

The EU’s Culture Committee is pushing new guidelines for protecting European kids from violent, pornographic and racist content on the internet. Its report recommends automatic filters or blocks that restrict access to harmful sites, and calls on providers to submit regularly updated lists of harmful sites with common abbreviations. Another suggestion is to create a generic domain name such as .kid to continuously screen sites and whistle-blow on those that may be considered inappropriate for children.

China to censor music and game imports

In the very same month it pledged to reform its tight policy on foreign TV and film content, China is ordering online music and game distributors to submit all imported products for approval by official government censors. The new rules apply to websites and mobile phone companies that distribute music, and they also ban the establishment of foreign-financed music distributors. Besides upholding government morals, the Chinese Ministry of Culture’s website says the new controls protect Chinese companies that have lost market share to foreign rivals.

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