The European Court of Human Rights ECtHR held a Grand Chamber hearing on 7 March in the case of Animal Defenders International v. the United Kingdom. The case concerns the complaint by a non-governmental organisation that it has been denied the possibility to advertise on TV or radio. In 2005, ADI began a campaign directed against the keeping and exhibition of primates in zoos and circuses and their use in television advertising. As part of the campaign, it wished to screen a TV advertisement, which it submitted to the responsible body, the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre. The BACC declined to clear the advert, drawing attention to the political nature of ADI as reflected in its non-charitable status. That decision was upheld by the High Court in December 2006 and by the House of Lords in March 2008. Relying on Article 10, ADI complains that it has been unjustifiably denied the opportunity to advertise on television or radio.
The hearing and the statement of facts (see links below) refer extensively to previous ECtHR cases: VgT Verein gegen Tierfabriken v. Switzerland, no. 24699/94, ECHR 2001-VI; Murphy v. Ireland, no. 44179/98, ECHR 2003-IX (extracts); and TV Vest AS and Rogaland Pensjonistparti v. Norway, no. 21132/05, 11 December 2008.
It is also worth highlighting that the UK government mentions a comparative survey conducted by EPRA on the regulation of political advertising.
The ruling in the case will be made available at a later stage.