NEPLP asks Saeima to review lending advertising restrictions in Latvia

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The National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) asked Saeima to review the restriction on lending advertising, NEPLP said in a media statement on May 19.

The restrictions are said to undermine the competitiveness of local media and its already decreasing income, as well as deny consumers access to relevant information.

The Council has tabled amendments to the Consumer Rights Protection Law for the liberalization of lending services advertising. The proposals aim to increase the income base for local commercial and social media advertising in the state of emergency, given that the state ad granted to the media in the crisis will end at the end of July, NEPLP explained.

NEPLP calls for lifting restrictions on advertising mortgage, student loans, and leasing services, while maintaining the existing framework that limits the so-called "quick" loan advertising which has the highest impact and risk on consumers' financial position and contributes to reckless borrowing.

Given that NEPLP is responsible for electronic mass media, the proposals concern TV and radio, but the Council views that these restrictions should also apply to environment advertising, press advertising, the Internet and others in order to boost the competitiveness of the entire Latvian media field.

The overall ban on lending service advertising, adopted in a hurry before the 13th Saeima elections, have caused significant losses in electronic mass media advertising revenues, thereby creating a negative impact on local content creation, the Council said.

"The disproportionate restrictions on advertising prevent residents of Latvia from receiving important information about favorable conditions of housing purchases or car leasing service, and make it difficult for new service providers to enter the market. Every consumer is the losing party," said Jānis Eglītis, member of the NEPLP Council.


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