An attempt by Spain’s media trade union to delay implementing the Royal Decree of Advertising has been met with a denial.
Spain will continue as planned with the ‘Royal Decree of Advertising,’ which targets gambling ads in the country and seeks to restrict most public marketing efforts that feature such products.
Following a complaint by the country’s media trade union, the Asociación de Medios de Información’ (AMI), the Supreme Tribunal had to step in and decide if the government is in its right to go ahead with the planned ban.
AMI claimed that the Royal Decree is discriminatory in nature and that the “grace period” before implementing the ban had put stakeholders, including media, in unfavorable positions.
Weighing in, the Supreme Tribunal decided that no wrongdoing had been done in the case and that the Royal Decree may proceed as planned, with the date of its implementation set for May 1. Once the prohibition kicks in, this means that all gambling advertisements must be suspended from public media, such as the press, radio, and TV.
The ban would not apply immediately on May 1, but there would be a five-month grace period through August 1, during which consumers may seek to phase out their advertisement from the media. AMI has called on Spain’s Consumer Affairs Ministry to reconsider the enforcement dates and give affected parties more time to comply.
Protecting Consumers Is Key Deliberation
Media stakeholders have argued that the intermittency of sports and withdrawal from live sports has led to economic difficulties for the union and that there has been a loss of sports programming, and specifically related to the UEFA Euro 2021 and Tokyo Olympics.
Based on the Supreme Tribunal’s decision the country’s 17 autonomous communities will now have to comply and apply the Royal Decree on the official date put down in the legal framework.
AMI reiterated that its sole concern was not with the imposition of an advertisement restriction on gambling-related materials but rather the economic consequences that the move would have on the expedited timeline proposed by the Ministry.
The Royal Decree, though, is established to defend the public interest, the Ministry argues, and therefore cannot be interpreted to suit stakeholders’ interests as such.