Civic committee against compulsory bilingual advertising in Biel/Bienne

A broad civic alliance presented its arguments against the new Biel advertising regulations in Biel on Friday. They criticized Article 5, which requires that advertisements be designed in both of Biel's official languages. The electorate will vote on the new regulations on June 18.

SWA Director Roland Ehrler next to the poster for the referendum campaign against Biel's new advertising regulations. (Pictures: Beat Hürlimann)

The parties SVP and FDP, the Parti radical romand (PRR), the GLP as well as the chamber of commerce and industry, the Bieler KMU and the EHC Biel do not want a language obligation in Biel, as representatives:inside said on Friday in Biel before the media. They spoke of an international stand alone advertising ban.

Article 5 of the new regulations says: "All advertisements must ( ..) be designed in the two official languages". Andreas Sutter (FDP), who spoke in favor of promoting bilingualism, was disturbed by this mandatory formulation. For him, an optional formulation would be more appropriate.

For Sutter, it is also unclear how the new regulations could be enforced. In his eyes, it is not even possible, because it is unclear how violations are to be dealt with.

PRR representative Bryan Manzoni also expressed the opinion that bilingualism should be promoted in Biel, but not with these regulations. The economic freedom is to be weighted higher. One could not dictate to the companies how they should advertise.

In addition, the opponents advocate, among other things, the preservation of the freedom of language and art. In their opinion, internationally active companies would no longer be able to present their English-language advertising slogans in Biel. This would result in a loss of advertising revenue in Biel. The Biel City Council approved the new regulations at the end of April. (SDA/swi)

The committee "No to the advertising regulations": Thomas Burkhard, Marketing Director of EHCB, Andreas Sutter, City Councilor, FDP Biel, Jean-Marc Hofstetter, Board of Biel SMEs, Oliver Wächter, City Councilor, SVP Biel, Bryan Manzoni, Vice President of Partie Radical Romand Bienne, Siliva Steidle, former Biel City Councilor, Partie Radical Romand Bienne, Lorenz Schmid, Managing Partner of In Flagranti, and Roland Ehrler, Director of SWA (l. to r.).l.t.r.). Not in the picture: Nadja Mühlemann, Managing Director of AWS.

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