If private media accepts paid advertising, the costs and conditions for advertising should be equally applied to all candidates.
- 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.
- If paid political advertising is permitted in the public or private media, then the costs and conditions should be reasonable and should be equally applied to all candidates.
- If political advertising is allowed, private media should charge the same rates to all parties and candidates without any discrimination. Some jurisdictions ban political advertising altogether; in other jurisdictions such a ban has been interpreted as an unjustified breach of the right of free speech and expression. Nevertheless, paid political advertising should always be identified as such and should not be disguised as news or editorial coverage.
- 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.