Sinn Féin - On Your Side

European Parliament's approval for new directive on television will allow children to be fair game for advertising companies

14 December, 2006


Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today, Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has expressed her concern at the decision of the European Parliament to give its approval to the new directive 'Television Without Frontiers Directive'. She said "this directive will pave the way for unlimited product placement and will allow children to be fair game for intensive advertising campaigns, including advertising for unhealthy food - this at a time when child obesity is recognised as being an increasing issue."

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms McDonald said:

'The Television Without Frontiers Directive which was approved by the European Parliament this week will give advertisers free reign to dominate the airwaves. The only thing free to operate without frontiers or limits is advertising.

'It paves the way for product placement, allowing advertisers to dictate scenes and plot-lines to the detriment of creative independent production.

'It considers children to be fair game for intensive advertising campaigns, including advertising for unhealthy food - this at a time when child obesity is recognised as being an increasing issue.

'Sinn Féin strongly supports any measure that provides greater protection for users of tele-visual services, greater access to those services to all sections of the community and stronger regulation of product placement and advertisements. These objectives are aimed at ensuring that television regulation standards place the interests of the general public above those of commercial advertisers.

'Sinn Féin is of the view that the most appropriate place for the overall running and management of such services should lay with national parliaments. I now call upon the Irish authorities to strengthen this Directive when it comes to the Council of Ministers and to introduce broadcasting regulations in Ireland which make up for the Directives weaknesses.'ENDS

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