Advertising self-regulation in a broader context: An examination of the european union’s regulatory environment

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12 Scopus citations


As the world braces itself for a unified European marketplace, it is critical that we look at the industries likely to be influenced by, and in turn shape, European integration. The advertising industry and its handling of unification are particularly important given that advertising is the voice of the marketplace and a major communications force, shaping cultural norms and values. In order to ensure the free movement of goods, communications about those goods must also move freely. At this time, however, each European country has its own rules and regulations for advertising. One of the major issues facing European advertising as the European Union (EU) comes together is the regulation of cross-border advertising. In 1991 the European Commission issued a call to action for the European advertising industry and almost immediately the industry began work on a trans-border complaints system. Since then the European Advertising Standards Alliance has worked diligently to iron out issues resulting from international advertising disputes. As this article shows, European regulators must determine how advertising will fit into the larger scheme of European law; who will be responsible for controlling advertising; and whether it should be monitored at the national or pan-European level. Certainly the advertising industry is not the only one struggling to determine which controls can remain at the national level and which should be raised to the European rank. But this analysis of how advertising self-regulation fits into the European legal scheme does provide a useful case study of the hurdles ahead. It will be interesting to watch as Europe works to find the proper balance between free trade and national autonomy to control industries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-83
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Promotion Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Advertising regulation
  • European union
  • International advertising
  • Trans-border data flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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