CJEU: Advocate General gives opinion on advertising case

posted on 12 April, 2011   (public)

Case C-281/09: Commission v Spain

On 7 April 2011, Advocate General Yves Bot delivered his opinion in case C-281/09: Commission v Spain on the notions of "advertising spots" and "other forms of advertising" under the Television without Frontiers Directive. According to the Directive, the transmission time for advertising spots and teleshopping spots shall not exceed 12 minutes per clock hour. The text does not set a daily limit for "other forms of advertising" whose transmission time (also counting advertising spots), should not exceed 15% of daily transmission time.

The Commission accuses Spain to permit new forms of television advertising - such as infomercials, telepromotions, and "advertising microspaces" - to be broadcast beyond the limit of 12 minutes (17 min/hour) while they constitute, according to the Commission, "advertising spots" in the meaning of the Directive.

The Advocate General's interpretation of the term "other forms of advertising" differs from the Commission inasmuchas he considers that it refers to sponsoring messages rather than forms of advertising which require longer transmission times owing to technical imperatives. Nevertheless, the AG sides with the Commission by considering that the interpretation given to the notion of "other forms of advertising" by Spain would result in negating the efficacy of the limit of 12 minutes, which stands for the balance between the financing needs of broadcasters through advertising and viewer protection against excessive advertising.

Opinion of Advocate General Yves Bot delivered on April 7, 2011, Case C-281/09

Source: Website of the CJEU - CURIA