International issues

IRIS Plus 2003-4: Swings on the Horizontal - The Search for Consistency in European Advertising Law

Author: Jan Kabel, Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam

Published: 01/09/2003

The rules governing transfrontier advertising are multi-layered. They may stem from national law or European legislation, and can apply to advertising in general or advertising in certain media. They may complement each other, although they may achieve different results. They may be considered incomplete in some parts and too extensive in others. And they exist alongside rules of self-regulation.

Are there any commonly accepted principles within current advertising regulations? Do they pursue the same objectives, systems and methods? Do guidelines for consistent regulation exist in case-law? How do proposals for new EC advertising legislation fit into the existing legal framework? How close are we to horizontal regulation of advertising?

These questions are addressed in this issue of IRIS plus. It soon becomes clear that the debate over "horizontal regulation" is anything but a methodological game.