European Parliament proposes tougher rules on online video

The European Parliament has proposed tighter measures for online video ads, in line with the rules already in place for TV advertising.

This would include a ban on ads and product placement for alcohol and tobacco, including electronic cigarettes, for videos aimed at children on video sharing platforms – by which it presumably means the likes of YouTube.

“One of our main priorities is the protection of minors,” said rapporteur Sabine Verheyen. “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 childrens audience will be restricted, allowed only to a very limited extent or will be prohibited in general.”

The proposals also cover content which incites violence, hatred or terrorism. MEPs have agreed that video platforms will have to take corrective measures addressing any content which is flagged as such. It isnt clear exactly what these measures would entail, but the EU would require platforms to include an easy-to-use mechanism for reporting content and being informed of the results.

Also on tables is a quota for the catalogue of on-demand platforms to include a minimum 30 per cent of European content in their catalogues – an increase on the 20 per cent originally proposed by the EU Commission– including works in the languages of countries where they are distributed.

The proposals still need to be endorsed by Parliament, with discussions taking place on 15 May to decide whether any will take the next step towards becoming legislation.