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Commercial communications

Publicity

Ethical definition and rules

Books of the missions and the loads of Radio France and the national company of program in charge of the audio-visual outside of France (for Radio France Internationale (RFI)) as well as the decree n°87-239 of April 6th, 1987 fixing the mode of publicity and sponsorship for the private radios specify the ethical rules to respect.

The Council thus takes care that the radiophonic operators do not diffuse advertisements being able to attack the decency or to the respect for human dignity. The stations must make sure that the advertisements do not contain any element likely to shock the religious convictions, philosophical or policies of the listeners, do not induce in error the consumer or do not exploit the inexperience or the credulity of the children and the teenagers.

Rules of diffusion of the advertisements

Methods of insertion of the advertisements in the programs

The advertisements must be clearly announced and identified like such as well on the antennas of stations of the public sector as private.

Conventions of the private radios specify that the whole of the advertising sequences must be preceded and closed by easily identifiable sound codes by the listeners or suitable ads of animation.

The French language is the imposed advertising language.

When the listeners are invited to react by SMS or telephone, the operator has the obligation to inform the public on the prices of the surtaxed telephone calls. This obligation results from article 4 of directive 97/7/CE of May 20th, 1997, integrated into article 14 ofthe decree of December 3rd, 1987 relating to information on the prices laying out that “the price of very produced or any performance of service suggested to the consumer according to a technique of remote communication must be indicated in a precise way to the consumer, by any means which show, before the contract signature ”.

At the conclusion of a dialogue with radiophonic operators, the Council decided on July 3rd, 2012 to adopt a new drafting of the article of conventions of the radios concerning the mention of the cost of the surtaxed calls and SMS.

It searched a balance between specificities of the radiophonic media and the consumer protection.

In accordance with this new drafting, the references towards surtaxed telephony services carried out live and apart from the advertising screens can not mention the price to be paid for their use, provided the station diffuses preregistered messages mentioning price to be paid for their use. These preregistered messages must be diffused as of the first incentive to call a surtaxed telephony service, then at regular intervals during the emission.

The time of antenna devoted to publicity

The books of the missions and the loads of Radio France and the national company of program in charge of the audio-visual outside of France (for RFI) impose a maximum time devoted to publicity. Thus, the advertisements are diffused within the limit, for the national plans, thirty minutes per day on average over the year. For the local private radios, the maximum time devoted to local publicity is of 25% of the duration of the program of local interest, except publicity, by 24 hours period.

Regulated and prohibited sectors radiophonic publicity

A certain number of sectors are prohibited of publicity to the radio, for ethical, of public health or economic reasons.

Prohibited sectors of publicity: tobacco and products of the tobacco

The law of January 10th, 1991, known as law Évin, of which the provisions are integrated today into the Public health code, introduced a total prohibition of publicity and propaganda in favour of the products of the tobacco.

The deliberation of June 17th, 2008 relating to the exposure of the products of the tobacco, alcoholic beverages and illicit drugs to the antenna enacted by the Council takes again this general prohibition.

The specific scheme of the radios of the public service

The advertising mode of Radio France is fixed at chapter IV of the decree of the modified November 13th, 1987.

Publicity is authorized on the antennas of France Inter, France Info and France Blue (main road and local), except for alcoholic beverages of more than 1.2 degree and of the business transactions for the sector of the distribution. It is prohibited on the other antennas of the group.

Publicity must be identified by an easily identifiable sound code by the listeners or an announcement of suitable animation.

For each antenna, the maximum time devoted to publicity cannot exceed: 

- 17 minutes per day on average per quarter of the calendar year;

- 30 minutes for a day given;

- 3 minutes per day on average annual between 7 a.m. and 9 hours;

- 8 minutes for one day given between 7 a.m. and 9 hours;

- 1.30 minute for each sequence of advertisements between 7 a.m. and 9 hours. 

The exchanges of services in advertising matter (i.e. promotional messages whose payment intervenes by compensation within the framework of an exchange of goods or services) and the messages of general interest are not taken into account for the calculation of advertising time.

Derogatory mode of publicity for alcoholic beverages for the radios of the private sector

The article L. 3323-2 of the public health code lays out that “propaganda and publicity, direct or indirect, in favour of the alcoholic beverages whose manufacturing and sale are not prohibited are authorized (…) by sound way of broadcasting for the categories of radios and in the time slots determined by decree in Council of State”.

With regard to the private radios, according to article R. 3323-1 of the public health code integrating the provisions of the decree n°92-1047 of September 23rd, 1992, propaganda and direct or indirect publicity by sound way of broadcasting in favour of drinks of which the voluminal degree of alcohol is higher than 1,2% are authorized only:

  • Wednesday, between 0 a.m. and 7 hours;
  • other days, between 0 a.m. and 17 hours”.

 

These messages should not be laudatory nor to encourage with the alcohol consumption and must be accompanied with a message in medical matter specifying that alcohol is dangerous for health (article L. 3323-4 of the public health code).

Messages except advertising screen

The Council takes care that the public and private radiophonic operators announce and identify the advertisements (article 8 of the decree n°87-239 of April 6th, 1987 for the private radios, article 42 of the specifications of the missions and of Radio France and article 35 of the specifications of the national company of program in charge of the audio-visual outside of France (for RFI), returning to the decree of April 6th, 1987).

Conventions of the private radios specify in article 3-3 devoted to the publicity which the whole of the advertising sequences must be preceded and closed by easily identifiable sound codes by the listeners or suitable ads of animation. These emissions should not encourage with the purchase or the lease of products or services via any person being expressed with the antenna, and cannot in particular comprise promotional references specific to these products or services.

When goods, services or other brands are presented, apart from the advertising screens, and this with a “advertising aim”, i.e. with an aim not of informing, but of promoting, the Council considers that it is about a clandestine publicity.

The Council does not have to bring the proof that promotion was done subject to remuneration. It returns to him to on a case-by-case basis appreciate the various practices detected on the antennas, and to possibly intervene when one of those appears litigious to him.

The CSA has for this purpose of a beam indices:

  • the absence of plurality in the presentation of the goods, services or brands;
  • the kindness displayed towards such or such product;
  • the frequency of the quotation of the product or the brand;
  • the indication of the address or the telephone contact or Internet of an advertiser;
  • the absence of any critical glance.

See also:

Publicity on television