Covert advertising on live streaming platforms and streaming services

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Mathias Villadsen Laibjørn
  • Nicolai Skovmose Kjær
4. term, Laws, Master (Master Programme)
In the last decade, there has been rapid advancements in the field of technology, including an increased accessibility to the internet all over the world. The internet presents a broad span of possibilities to conduct businesses and market products. The internet consists of multiple types of platforms, hereinunder online shops, video-sharing platforms, on-demand services, social networks etc. Traders from all over the world has seen the potential to market their products to a greater a circle of customers, with the increased accessibility to the internet and through new platforms. However, sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact regulations that applies to the marketing of products and services on a specific platform. This is especially due to the fact that some new platforms contain both elements of video-sharing and social networking. Covert advertising continues to be a widespread phenomenon and with the advent of new platforms and a wider range of customers there are new ways that the trader can conduct covert advertising.

The purpose of this judicial thesis is to determine which regulation governs covert advertising on live streaming platforms and on-demand streaming services. Covert advertising can take many different forms depending on the media it appears in. On live streaming platforms covert advertising will often take the form of personal opinions instead of commercial communication and on on-demand services it will often be in the form of surreptitious commercial communication, product placement or product sponsoring.

The Danish Marketing Practices Act is neutral in terms of the technology used for commercial practices, which means it should always be applied unless a more specific regulation governs the subject matter. It will undoubtably apply to live streaming platforms, but it is unclear how the regulations should be exercised on these platforms. This thesis seems to analyze the applicable law and determine how it should be used to ensure that advertising on livestreams is not in conflict with the prohibition on covert advertising.

The Audiovisual Media Services Directive and The Danish Radio and Television Act regulates on-demand audiovisual media services. What statutes an on-demand audiovisual media service is somewhat unclear. This thesis aims to analyze the requirements for what statutes an on-demand audiovisual media service and determine whether the regulation set in the abovementioned directive and act applies to on-demand streaming services such as Viaplay.
If the on-demand streaming service meets the requirements for on-demand audiovisual media services, it is subject to the regulation of surreptitious commercial communication, product placement and product sponsoring, in this sectorial legislation.

Regardless of whether covert advertising is brought on live streaming platforms or on-demand streaming services it will always depend on a specific assessment to determine which regulation applies and whether the rules are complied with.
LanguageDanish
Publication date2020
ID: 332569562