Industry stakeholders in Greece have issued a joint statement highly critical of a proposed controversial new media law.
In it, they say that on July 1 the government started a public consultation on the law that would lead to:
The creation of an mandatory state-controlled electronic system through which all TV advertisements will be sold.
For anyone wishing to buy TV advertising time, it will be compulsory to go through the system. Every transaction has to be registered, as all advertisers, advertising agencies and media specialists are obliged to put their orders into the system. TV stations, in parallel, are obliged to put all their time availability, sponsorship or product placement offerings, in the system. Any transaction outside the system is prohibited.
All the transactions are open to the government. The company handling the electronic system will be obliged to deliver reports to the ministry on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, with all the details regarding prices, discounts, time slots, channels, advertisers, etc. A 10% tax is applied on the cost of every transaction in the system.
They add that broadcasters and advertisers are opposed to it because:
Unacceptable State Interference in the Free Press: This state intervention would hand the government massive control of the TV industry. It represents an unacceptable interference in the affairs of the free press and media industry.
Negative Impact on Investors and Advertisers: The new law would send a very negative message to existing and potential new investors at a time when Greece needs to reassure existing investors and attract new ones. The bill would remove any notion of the necessary confidentiality needed for companies to do business. It raises a real business risk for media companies operating in the country that all advertisers, advertising agencies, media agencies, TV stations and rest of the media would know in detail the cost of every single advertisement, TV budgets of each advertiser and the revenue.
The statement was signed by the Hellenic Advertisers Association (SDE), the Hellenic Association of Advertising – Communication Agencies (EDEE) and the Association of Private TV Stations of National Range (EITISEE).