Paid advertising in the public media should be identified as such, and the costs and conditions involved should be reasonable and equally applied to all candidates and parties.
- Print media outlets owned by public authorities...If such media outlets accept paid advertising in their publications, the should ensure that all political contenders and parties that request the purchase of advertising space are treated in an equal and non-discriminatory manner.
- Accordingly, the Assembly calls on member States to review, where necessary, their regulatory frameworks governing media coverage of election campaigns, in order to bring them into line with Council of Europe standards, ensuring in particular that they: (...) 8.6. clearly distinguish between the campaign activities and information activities of public and private media to ensure equity among political competitors, as well as a conscious and free choice for voters.
- Accordingly, the Assembly calls on member States to review, where necessary, their regulatory frameworks governing media coverage of election campaigns, in order to bring them into line with Council of Europe standards, ensuring in particular that they: (...) 8.8. guarantee, where political parties and candidates have the right to purchase advertising space for election purposes, equal treatment in terms of conditions and rates charged; in this context, there should be a requirement for paid political advertising to be readily recognisable as such.
- In member States where political parties and candidates are permitted to buy advertising space for electoral purposes, regulatory frameworks should ensure that: the possibility of buying advertising space should be available to all contending parties, and on equal conditions and rates of payment; the public is aware that the message is paid political advertisement.
- If media accept paid political advertising, regulatory or self-regulatory frameworks should ensure that such advertising is readily recognizable as such.
- The obligations to promote the enjoyment of the right to freedom of opinion and expression require that States guarantee the transparency of all aspects of political and electoral processes, and should particularly put in place measures to: (...) (b) Put in place measures to ensure that, in all circumstances, paid political advertising is identified as such and not disguised as news or editorial coverage, and that the origin of its financial backing is evident.
- In the area of paid political advertising there should also be a guarantee of access and equal treatment. An inequality is created in the area of paid political advertising if the legal framework fails to ensure that the same commercial rate for such ads be offered to all political parties and candidates, and that the times and location of the advertising be on similar terms. Alternatively, and where not contradicting other laws, the legal framework could prohibit all paid political advertising. If paid political advertising is permitted, then it should be offered at the same commercial rate for such advertising and under similar conditions to all political parties and candidates in order to ensure access and equal treatment. Moreover, paid political advertising should be identified as such and should not be disguised as news or editorial coverage.
- Signatories commit to keep complying with the requirement set by EU and national laws, and outlined in self-regulatory Codes, that all advertisements should be clearly distinguishable from editorial content, including news, whatever their form and whatever the medium used. When an advertisement appears in a medium containing news or editorial matter, it should be presented in such a way as to be readily recognisable as a paid-for communication or labelled as such.
- These [paid] ads should be clearly and effectively labelled and distinguishable as paid-for content, and users should be able to understand that the content displayed contains advertising related to political or societal issues.
- Beyond providing equal access to the media, States should encourage a fair system of paid political advertising and allow parties to generate funds to afford doing so.