BASIC LEGAL FRAMEWORK ABOUT ADVERTISMENT
Efth. G. Navridis
What is considered by Law as Advertising?
Advertising, in accordance with Article 9 of Law 2251/1994 is, in any form and any means, used for commercial, industrial, craft or profession in order to promote sales of goods or services, including Real Estate and accompanying rights and obligations.
Commercial communications which do not constitute advertising.
The EU directive 0052/1989 differentiates advertising as following:
”Surreptitious audiovisual commercial communication” as the means for deliberate monetary transaction or exchange of verbal or visual communication for advertising purposes or visual presentation of goods, services, the name, trademark or the activities of a producer of goods or a service provider, being liable to mislead the public regarding the nature of this presentation.
΄Sponsorship΄ means any contribution arising as a result from public or private undertaking, or natural person not engaged in providing audiovisual instruments or the production of audio projects for funding audiovisual media services or programs with a view to promoting its name, trademark, image, activities or products;
“Teleshopping” means direct offers broadcast to the public to provide goods or services against payment, including property, rights and obligations;
“Product placement” means any form of audiovisual commercial communication which consists of per-modified product, service or trade mark that appears in the program, payment or similar quid pro quo.
What is outdoor advertising?
The outdoor and public view, in any way and means, messages of all kinds, to promote trade and professional purposes or other similar activities.
Relevant qualifications and restrictions provided for in Law 2946/2001.
Who are the authorities responsible for Advertising?
The Ministry of Development – General Secretariat for the Consumer, and the National Broadcasting Council (ESR).
What are the self-regulation agreements governing Advertising?
From a business perspective rules have been adopted for self-restraint and for monitoring deceptive advertising on the initiative of the following organizations:
– Association of Advertising Companies – Communication (EDEE)
– Hellenic Advertisers Association (SDE)
– Communication Control Council (ASC)
The latter provide for ensuring compliance of the Greek Code of Advertising- Communication, continuous monitoring of developments to improve the Code, the establishment of Committees for the implementation of and participation in associations abroad to promote self-regulation and enforcement of ethics in communication.
Which products are not allowed to be advertised?
EU Directive 552/1989 prohibits the advertising of cigarettes and other tobacco products including indirect forms of advertising.
In addition, prohibited is any television presentation advertising drugs and medical treatments available only on prescription in the Member States in whose jurisdiction the broadcasting organisation falls.
Directive 552/1989 places restrictions on television advertising and teleshopping for alcoholic beverages, including restrictions set by subparagraph d of paragraph 3a of Article 3 of Law 2328/1995 concerning juvenile viewers.
What must not be included in Advertising?
In accordance with subsection c of the 3rd paragraph of Article 3 of Law 2328/1995, television advertising must not:
a) be an affront to human dignity,
b) to discriminate between race, sex, religion or nationality,
c) be offensive to religious or political beliefs,
d) to encourage behavior prejudicial to health or safety of persons,
e) to encourage behavior prejudicial to the protection the environment.
What is comparative advertising ,and under what conditions is it permitted?
The law allows, under certain conditions, comparative advertising, ie advertising that allows, directly or indirectly or by implication, the identity of a specific competitor or goods or services he offers, if the advertisement compares objectively the essential, relevant, verifiable context and with fair characteristics of competing goods or services.
When is it possible to display advertisements?
In accordance with subparagraphs a to d of paragraph 5 of Article 3 of Law 2328/1995, the advertisement may be inserted between programs and, under conditions, in their duration.
During which transmissions are advertisements prohibited?
According to subsection e of paragraph 5 of Article 3 of Law 2328/1995, during religious services, advertisements should not be transmitted. Television news, news reports (such as greenhouse political dialogue), current affairs programmes, documentaries, religious programmes and children΄s programmes, scheduled duration is less than 30 minutes should not be interrupted by advertisements. ΄When these programmes are of a duration exceeding 30 minutes, then that which comes into force is that which exists for the projection of advertisements.
Is there a time limit display for advertisements?
Relating to the allowable time limits for advertisements is provided in paragraph 6 of Article 3 of Law 2328/1995.
What is required to establish an advertising company?
The law does not require a specific legal form, or set a specific condition, thus for the establishiment of an advertising company, those that relate to the establishment of any company depending on its corporate form apply.
What is the jurisdiction in which the Chamber must contact the interested party?
Responsible for advertising agencies is the Business Chamber.
Is there an inconsistent involvement of advertising companies with other companies?
According to PD 310/1996 and Law 2644/1998 advertising companies may not be involved in radio or television, or newspapers or registration of audiovisual works, and should maintain their autonomy in relation to broadcasting market research firms.
What are the requirements for registration of the Public Advertiser?
The entry of companies interested to undertake activities, advertising or other relevant public viewing as per the Register of Article 3 of Presidential Decree 261/1997 and Article 27 of Law 3166/03, will be held in the same classification in at least one of the following categories:
a. Planning and organization of advertising strategy
b. Creation of content (creative) or the imprinting of a physical medium (production)
c. Providing advisors on choosing the appropriate media promotion (radio, television, print material, etc.)
d. Providing advisors and general services in marketing and public relations and planning and organizing websites.
Any interested company can be listed in more categories.
Such a company must be a company of legal standing. The capital of the company concerned must be at least 60,000 Euros.
The company concerned must fulfill all requirements as a business organization, staffing and logistics, and to fulfill its contractual obligations in a proper way with efficiency.
That at least 75% or more of their gross income, during the past twenty four months before the evaluation of the request, should come from contracts and general agreements, which have been drawn directly with advertisers or other end users of their services, as evidenced by a certificate by a recognized firm of chartered accountants – auditors.
OTHER LEGAL – TAX QUESTIONS
What are the extra fees paid for an adverisement?
Any radio, TV station, and newspaper or magazine, broadcasting or publishing, and based in any part of the Greek territory, provided by the applicable provisions, is currently obligated to pay Excise and Press taxes, and must submit to the relevant Internal Revenue Service (PES), its pricelist advertising and sponsorship, which it administers, which should include all discounts, commissions and promotions, and the recipient, whether it be the person who is advertised or the advertisee concerned.
Who are exempt from the above charges?
In accordance with Article 2 par 1 section of the 2nd. subparagraph LD 1344/1973 exempt from payment of the Press tax of the State, are municipalities, legal entities of public law and Public utilities.
Also exempt are non-profit organizations, and social content messages projected in accordance with the order of the first subparagraph of paragraph 21 of Article 3 hereof.
What is the periodicity of these dues?
Paid each calendar two months up to the 20th day of the month the which follows
two months following the completion of specific forms of the advertisee or promoter when mediated by the Advertiser under the instructions of the advertisee.
What are the consequences of failing to pay the above dues?
In accordance with the provisions of Articles 33 of Law 2429/1996 and 10 of Law 2328/1995, the timely and adequate non-payment of the Press tax by the broadcast media and magazines, among other things implies the acknowledgment of such debt by the TSPEATH against the Company and recoverability in accordance with the provisions of KEDE, and provides instigation for criminal proceedings, and allows the party responsible for collecting the insurance fund and the right to have the certificate, which is enforceable and collected under the provisions of KEDE.
What summarizes the main enactments that one can enquire in connection with advertising?
The basic legislation is that of Law 2251/1994 (Article 9) “Consumer Protection”, as amended by Article 3 of the Joint Ministerial Decision Z1-496/2000, the leading to the adaptation of Greek legislation to the provisions Council Directive 84/450/EEC concerning misleading advertising, and Directive 97/55/EC of the European Parliament and Council directive on comparative advertising.
For the interpretation of the Joint Ministerial Decision Z1-496/2000 also issued was Z1-512/2001 Circular.
The questions dealt specifically with relevant legislation as described above.
*This text was originally published in the volume “Greek Law Digest” (edition of Nomiki Bibliothiki)