EC restricts teleshopping programmes

The European Commission has moved to curb teleshopping in its revised version of the 1989 Broadcasting Directive.

Total time allowed for advertising and teleshopping “spots” combined may not exceed 20 per cent of daily transmission time, according to the directive published last week.

Tobacco products may not be sold via teleshopping, and alcohol products will now face the same restrictions that cover advertising.

It is the first time teleshopping programmes and sections within programmes are covered by the directive.

However, specialised tele-shopping channels – such as QVC which broadcasts only teleshopping programmes – are not covered by the revised directive.

These and other new media services, such as video on de-mand, will be covered by separate legislation “in due course” (MW March 3).

The current 15 per cent ceiling on daily transmission time available for advertising re-mains unaltered.

The revised broadcasting directive has now been adopted by the EC but awaits the European Parliament’s final approval before it is introduced into law.