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    With EU Support to more Determined Advertising Market in BiH

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    Press Release

    At the conference “Regulating the Advertising Market”, held on June 21, 2018 in Sarajevo, the report on policies and practices of advertising in BiH was presented, and the problems and potential solutions to the non-regulated advertising market in BiH were discussed.  

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    “The existing legislature and regulation in BiH treat certain aspects of advertising, especially in the electronic media sector, but many areas are left unregulated, as are the conditions for advertising price discounts, advertising of lottery games and advertising through influencers”, pointed out the report’s reviewer Sanela   Hodžić, researcher of the Mediacentar Sarajevo, who also presented the main findings.

    The report, authored by Selma Kadić-Maglajlić and Barbara Krajnc, also points to the poor availability of data on advertising and the inefficient supervision of advertising practices. Therefore, the criteria and procedures for advertising in the public sector are inadequately regulated, while the data on public companies’ advertising is treated as a trade secret, which enables manipulation of public funds for political promotion and rewarding loyal media. The public procurement system has partly improved transparency of advertising in the public sector, but the availability of information is still limited, due to the unjustified usage of less transparent procedures, as well as irregular publishing of and incomplete plans for procurement.   

    Senad Zaimović, Director of the marketing agency Fabrika and consultant for the report emphasized the need for a regulated market, and added that there was not enough production, knowledge and interest for advertising in BiH, and that the industry did not utilize the potentials of the Associations in the media industry. “The entire domestic advertising sector is in a bad positions”, concluded Zaimović.

    Adnan Bilal, Director of Marketing at the Radio-Television of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, also added that amongst the biggest problems in this area in BiH is the lack of a law on transparency of media ownership, as well as arbitrary and non-transparent determination of prices in the advertising space in the media.

    Marketing expert Ekrem Dupanović  pointed that the primary necessity lies in the unification of the media industry who until know showed a lack of interest for solving these issues.   

    Advertising expert Samra Lučkin from the JaBiHEU organization said that is very important to distinguish editorial from advertising content.

    During the report’s presentation, attention was given to the non-existence of an all-encompassing framework that would regulate advertising in BiH, as well as to the lack of initiatives for ensuring a legitimate system of measuring TV ratings and for implementing ethics norms in the advertising sector. The recommendations of the report are aimed at increasing transparency, especially with regards to the public sector advertising, defining ways for establishing prices and conditions for achieving discounts, introduction of an external audit in the public procurement procedure of media services and media auditors participation in the preparation and selection of media service procurement, redefining trade secrets in public companies, establishing honor on the level of the advertising industry, which would accept and promote ethics standards of advertising, as well as promoting the credibility of public research.  

    The report is part of the project “Media and Public Credibility“ financed by the European Union, and implemented by BH Journalists, Mediacentar Sarajevo, the Press Council in BiH and JaBiHEU.

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