The new European legislation for Energy labelling acknowledges that radio and audio are a special case, a concession which bodes well for a more pragmatic approach to Terms & Conditions (Ts&Cs) on radio in general. It is the first time European regulators have recognised audio’s specific requirements.
Article 6 of the legislation relates to advertising and promotional material. It references visual material explicitly, providing an exemption for radio. The relevant section of Article 6* states that: “the supplier and dealer shall: make reference to the energy efficiency class of the product and the range of the efficiency classes available on the label in visual advertisements or technical promotional material for a specific model in accordance with the relevant delegated act”.
The case for reducing burdensome Ts&Cs which are particularly intrusive in an audio environment yet do not succeed in protecting consumers has been made to UK and European regulators by Radiocentre in conjunction with the Association of European Radios over the last few years. The exclusion of radio and audio from Article 6 of the new legislation is an encouraging indication that the campaign to redefine regulation, to the good of both consumers and industry, is making progress.
The new legislation was published on 28 July this year and the regulation came into force on 1 August. Siobhan Kenny, CEO of Radiocentre says: “This is good news for listeners, advertisers and the commercial radio industry. It is particularly encouraging in the light of the discussions had at the REFIT Stakeholder Group in June: everything indicates that the campaign to shorten information on credit agreements in radio ads is moving in the right direction.”
Vincent Sneed, AER Director Regulatory Affairs added: “The Energy Labelling Regulation sends a good signal: it is the first time that an EU piece of legislation recognises radio is different from any other medium when it comes to Ts&Cs or warning messages inserted in advertising. It is key that radio’s specificity is kept in mind in future pieces of legislation, as radio is the only sound-only medium.”