The general principles that govern the content of television programmes also apply to advertising.
Advertising must not include discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, nationality, religion or beliefs, disability, age or sexual orientation. Radio advertisements for medicinal products and medical treatment are prohibited, as is any form of audiovisual commercial communication for cigarettes and other tobacco products. Advertising for alcoholic beverages is permitted but is subject to relatively restrictive conditions.
ALIA particularly monitors advertising for any violent, erotic or pornographic content and to ensure the protection of minors. Advertising must not directly exhort minors to buy a product.
Advertisements must not encourage behaviour that is harmful to health and safety or to environmental protection.
Advertisements broadcast by local radio stations and regional radio stations (transmission networks) may not exceed a daily average of six minutes per hour and eight minutes for any particular hour.
For national radio stations, a Grand-Ducal Regulation may be introduced to lay down general restrictions as to the volume and nature of advertisements, but no regulation of this nature is currently in force. However, the contractual specifications of national radio stations contain similar conditions to those applied to regional and local radio stations.
Product placement is a form of advertising in which a product, service or brand is incorporated into a radio programme, rather than being broadcast between programmes (as with conventional advertising).
This practice has been in existence for many years, but the legal framework for product placement was only established with the European Directive of 11 December 2007 on Audiovisual Media Services, which was transposed into national law in 2008.
Although the main principle of the directive is to prohibit product placement, it then lays down certain specific conditions in which product placement may be permitted. Product placement must not affect the responsibility and editorial independence of the radio station.
The ban particularly applies to programmes with editorial content and children’s programmes. Product placement mainly occurs in television programmes.
Sponsorship refers to the practice whereby a company or legal person contributes to the funding of part of a programme with the aim of promoting its name, brand, image, activities or products.
As with product placement, the responsibility and editorial independence of the radio station must be maintained. Sponsorship should not directly exhort viewers to buy or hire goods or services.
News and current affairs programmes may not be sponsored.
Surreptitious advertising occurs when – in addition to the slots dedicated to advertising – goods, services or other brands are presented on air and “intended to serve as advertising”. These messages are not broadcast for the purposes of informing the public but rather of promoting a product; they may therefore mislead the public as to their nature. Such representation may be considered as intentional if it is done in return for payment or other consideration.
Surreptitious advertising is prohibited.