Advertising bans: "They're shooting at sparrows with cannons"

In the current debate about advertising bans in Switzerland, the industry is coming under increasing pressure. There is concern about the economic and socio-political impact. The IAA therefore organized the information evening "Freedom of advertising as a cornerstone of the market economy" to draw attention to the issue. Afterwards, industry representatives spoke with m&k

Jürg Bachmann, President of KS/CS Communication Switzerland, emphasized that the current situation with advertising bans in Switzerland is very serious. With 44 new initiatives this year, he sees a threatening development that restricts the freedom of information and communication. The KS/CS Communication Switzerland organization examines each initiative in terms of its impact and prepares position papers that are made available to parliamentarians to enable them to make informed decisions. Bachmann criticized the fact that many of the advertising bans are ideologically motivated and not based on facts. He emphasized that advertising is important for consumer information, economic stability and media financing. A decline in advertising would endanger the media landscape and quality journalism. He called on the industry to unite in order to preserve the creative and innovative world of advertising in Switzerland.

Jürge Bachmann, President KS/CS Communication Switzerland

Andrea Banz, Head of Marketing, Emmi Switzerland, presented the success story of Emmi Caffè Latte advertising and emphasized that the brand would not have been able to build the same emotional connection with consumers without the opportunity to advertise. Emmi relies on self-regulation by advertising responsibly and in line with the target group, for example through sugar-reduced products for children. She emphasized the importance of advertising in building strong brands and consumer loyalty.

Andrea Banz, Head of Marketing, Emmi Switzerland

Andrea Bison, Co-CEO of Thjnk and Advertiser of the Year 2024, emphasized the cultural significance of advertising, which provides entertainment and information at the same time. She pleaded for individual responsibility and emphasized that advertising bans alone are not a solution to problematic consumer behavior. Parents and schools should play an active role in providing information. Bison explained that careful analysis of target groups and responsible advertising messages are crucial. She called for freedom of advertising to be seen as an expression of freedom of opinion and to think about advertising bans in a differentiated way.

Andrea Bison, Co-CEO of Thjnk and Advertiser of the Year 2024

Markus Ehrle, CEO APG/SGA, explained the challenges posed by local legislative initiatives to restrict outdoor advertising. A complete ban on commercial outdoor advertising would jeopardize over 800 jobs and considerable revenue in Switzerland. Ehrle emphasized the importance of advertising for value creation and the financing of journalism. He spoke out against radical advertising bans and pleaded for responsible advertising within the existing legal framework. He described the current measures as "shooting sparrows with cannons."

Markus Ehrle, CEO APG/SGA at the IAA evening event on advertising bans
Markus Ehrle, CEO APG/SGA and committed campaigner against advertising bans.

Cyril Meier from the HWZ emphasized the need for a detailed analysis of public opinion and political trends with regard to advertising. The industry must take proactive measures to understand the voices of the population and political representatives and act accordingly. He called for allies to be found and for professional lobbying and public communication to highlight the importance of advertising for society.

The evening was moderated by IAA board member Natasja Sommer (Director Public Affairs, The Coca-Cola Company)

The interviews illustrate the serious economic and social impact of advertising bans. The industry is confronted with ideologically motivated restrictions that are not based on facts. The players emphasize the importance of advertising for consumer information, economic stability and media financing. They call for unity and the defense of advertising freedom, while at the same time advocating responsible advertising practices. Advertising is seen as an essential component of freedom of expression and democratic information culture. The evening was organized by the IAA - International Advertising Association - Swiss Chapter


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