European Parliament to discuss regulation of sponsored content on video streaming platforms

The European Union has suggested a reform proposal for online video adverts to be more tightly regulated. According to the proposal, video content creators should more clearly mark sponsored content and product placements.

Further, the EU seeks to ban product placements for alcohol and tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes in videos aimed at children via online video platforms such as YouTube.

Heading the proposal, Sabine Verheyen, said in a statement:

“One of our main priorities is the protection of minors. We proposed adapting some of the rules applying to programmes on television to internet services, such as rules on advertising, product placement and sponsorship. Certain advertising in programmes aimed at a children’s audience will be restricted, allowed only to a very limited extent or will be prohibited in general.”

In addition, content which may provoke violence, hatred or terrorism is also covered under the proposal. Video-sharing platforms would be requested to adopt mechanisms which report users that violate these stipulations.

In addition, MEPs have set forth new rules for TV advertising at a maximum 20% daily quota.

Video-on-demand platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video are requested to include at least 30% of European content in their catalouges. That’s a 20% increase on a similar EU Commission proposal.

Rapporteur Petra Kammerevert (S&D, DE) adds:

“To increase quotas for video-on-demand offers does not necessarily ensure a stimulation of new European audiovisual content, but it is a clear EU policy signal. Such a quota should be achievable and should not be an undue burden on anybody. At the same time, we want to enable member countries to commit video on demand platforms to payments of national film funds that can stimulate the production of new European works.” 

The guidelines will be discussed on 15 May to decide whether final approval of the legislation can be given.