In addition, the European Commission desired to confine isolated spot advertisements to short time slots during sports programs only (Lainer, 2005). According to Lainer (2005, pg. 1), "We are truly disappointed. We think they have missed an opportunity really to modernise advertising rules in a fast-moving environment with new technologies and competition."
As previously mentioned, RLT is Europe's largest television group, having 32 stations in all. These include France's M6 and the United Kingdom's Channel Five. According to Lainer (2005, pg. 1), "Traditional commercial broadcasters pressed for more flexibility in using commercials amid increased competition for advertising. They also say tougher rules on commercials during children's and news shows could endanger programmer-making in these fields. The growth of digital channels, web-based TV and viewers' commercial skipping devices have fragmented audiences and challenged the core advertising-driven business of traditional free-to-air broadcasters."
The European Commission stands up for itself by claiming that they tried to support traditional commercial broadcasters as much as possible when they were writing their proposal. A couple of things it proposed that would support advertisers include allowing them to have commercials during the first 20 minutes of television shows-which they currently cannot do-and allow for product placement in television shows. The proposal of the addition of product placement sparked much criticism, where some individuals feared that television in the UK would become commercial-soaked like it is in the United States (Lainer, 2005).
One of the major forces impacting the European advertising industry is the European Advertising Standards Alliance. According to EASA (2008, pg. 1), "The European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) is a non-profit organisation based in Brussels. EASA brings together national advertising self-regulatory organisations (SROs) and organisations representing the advertising industry in Europe. EASA is, on behalf of the advertising industry, the single authoritative voice on advertising self-regulation issues and promotes high ethical standards in commercial communications by means of effective self-regulation, while being mindful of national differences of culture, legal and commercial practice."
The advertising industry in Europe faces a number of key challenges today. Among these are socially responsible advertising. According to Perez-Latre (2003, pg. 1):
In recent years, the European advertising industry has made a clear self-control effort since its goal is to provide a solid alternative to more governmental advertising regulation. But the last change in the European Commission's Directive, "Television without Frontiers" (COM/2002, 6.I. 2003), has provoked fresh thinking. Today's main controversial topics are alcohol advertising, time constraints for advertising on television, norms on interactive television, sponsoring, self-promotion, teleshopping, and other advertising/programming content. Extreme commercialization of television programs is having an impact: Clutter has increased to levels that are unbearable for viewers.
Pretty much every European Union market is regulated with regard to its advertising industry. Children's advertising is particularly affected. For instance, in