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, other tobacco products, as well as electronic cigarettes and refill bottles. 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.
As far as national radio stations are concerned, the law on electronic media provides that a grand-ducal regulation may establish general restrictions on the volume and nature of advertising messages. To date, such a regulation has not yet been adopted, but the specifications of national radio stations contain rules similar to those of regional and local radio stations.
The law also provides for the possibility of adopting a grand-ducal regulation applying the provisions relating to audiovisual commercial communications, television advertising and teleshopping to certain categories or to all Luxembourg radio services.
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.
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.
In 2007, the fundamental principle of the Directive was to prohibit product placement and to allow it only under certain conditions. Today, the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive of 14 November 2018 observes that the general prohibition of product placement did not provide the expected legal certainty. Henceforth, it is therefore allowed in all audiovisual media services produced after 19 December 2009, with some exceptions. These exceptions concern news and current affairs programs, consumer programs, religious programs and programs for children.
This advertising technique must in no way interfere with the responsibility and editorial independence of the radio station, nor encourage behaviour that is detrimental to health, safety or the protection of the environment.
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.