European Parliament proposes tough behavioural ad rules

Roland Perry lists at
Fri Nov 12 14:28:56 GMT 2010

In article <4CDD0277.1040907 at>, Peter Tomlinson
<pwt at> writes
>From Pinsent Masons in their weekly out-law newsletter:
>Adverts based on a web user's activity should carry a sign saying
>'behavioural advertisement' and display a window explaining what
>information has been used to select that ad, a draft report by the
>European Parliament has said.
>More at

The report calls on the Commission, among other things, to:

        prohibit the systematic, indiscriminate sending of text message
        advertisements to all mobile phone users within the coverage
        area of an advertising poster equipped with Bluetooth technology
        without their prior consent;

Easily done by changing the definition of "public network" in existing
law to include Bluetooth broadcasts.

        prohibit the content of private e-mails being read by a third
        party for advertising purposes;

Isn't it already prohibited, for most purposes?

        require advertisements sent by e-mail to contain an automatic
        link enabling the recipient to refuse all further advertising

Again, isn't this already the law (if the sending of the email was legal
in the first place)?

        restrict online alcohol advertising to the websites of industry
        professionals, local authorities and tourist offices,

Why is it OK for the council to advertise booze? Is this special
pleading from the Champagne region?

        modify the limited liability regime for information society
        services in order to make the sale by search engines of
        registered brand names as advertising keywords subject to prior
        authorisation from the owner of the brand name in question

As others trying to make public policy in this area are discovering -
registered where and for what purpose? Will Lincoln Cathedral have to
get permission from both a cheese and a car manufacturer to use its name
as an advertising keyword? (Assuming the car is registered as a TM in
the UK in the first place).
Roland Perry

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