weCAN Digest November 2018

Media monitoring of the latest news about the media and advertising markets of Central and Eastern Europe

"13 criminals from Parliament vs. an advertising agency"
13 lawmakers filed a police complaint against the advertising agency Papaya Advertising – maker of several ads with a powerful social message – for making the video clip „Children of the referendum”, urging the boycott of the popular consultation from 6 -7 October on redefining the family as the exclusive marriage between a man and a woman.
November 3
#romania
 
Czech Internet trolls have competition - "elves" are combating disinformation and propaganda
The Czech elves were inspired by the Baltic countries, where other elves have been active against Internet trolls for some time. In Lithuania there are already several hundred such elves, but the platform is just now being developed in the Czech Republic.
November 5
#czechrepublic #baltics
 
Ukraine's Language Bill Misses the Point
A draft law currently being considered by Ukraine’s parliament would require all media published in other languages to produce an identical Ukrainian version both online and in print. Radio and TV are also required to be in Ukrainian, with programs in other languages being dubbed. If passed, the law would threaten the existence of several excellent publications and potentially alienate some segments of the population.
November 6
#ukraine
 
Competition watchdog notes potential problems with proposed TV takeover deal
The takeover of Pro Plus, which operates several commercial TV channels, could lead to horizontal concentration on the TV advertising market, the market for TV sports rights, and the wholesale of children’s TV programmes, the Competition Protection Agency (AVK) said.
November 7
#slovenia
 
Bulgarian Media Funding Law Sparks ‘Witch-Hunt’ Fears
Controversial legislative changes in Bulgaria aimed at forcing media to reveal all their sources of funding have been criticised amid concerns that they could herald pressure on donors.
November 8
#bulgaria
 
Leading British Media Open A Technology Center In Bulgaria
British branch of US giant News Corp, which is behind The Times, The Sun and The Sunday Times, has launched a partnership with Bulgarian Questers to build software teams in Bulgaria that will have a strategic role in the digital media transformation.
November 9
#bulgaria
 
Media freedom in Central Europe on the decline
It’s not just the occasional sarcastic remark of a powerful political figure that is alarming the media in the Visegrad countries anymore. The fact of the matter is that media freedom is on the decline across the region. Independent media are becoming more and more constrained by various legal instruments, their ownership increasingly concentrated in the hands of a powerful few and even journalists themselves are becoming a target of harassment. How far will this trend go?
November 12
#visegrad4
 
Internet overtakes TV advertising in Russia
The total internet ad spend in Russia in the first three quarters of this year amounted to R141.5 million (€1.84 billion).
November 12
#russia
 
Commission lauds Bulgaria, castigates Romania on judicial reform
The European Commission published on Tuesday (13 November) reports on Bulgaria and Romania under the so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), commending Bulgaria for progress made and lambasting Romania for backtracking. Both countries, however, were warned to uphold media freedom.
November 13
#romania #bulgaria
 
CEE region advertising markets in the first half of 2018
t is obvious that the share of display ad formats will remain significant on every market, however, we can observe the growing importance of video campaigns, noticeable especially on three markets: in Poland, where video comprised 36 per cent of all campaigns, in Turkey, with the result of 32 per cent, but also, quite interestingly in Ukraine, yet with the result a bit lower than the other two, approximated to 26 per cent of all campaigns.
November 15
#cee
 
Reporters Without Borders: Serbia has worst media situation in all Balkans
An official from Reporters Without Frontiers / Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) has warned that the hate speech is much more present in the media in Serbia than in any other country of the region.
November 15
#serbia
 
Crowds protest against former Slovak PM's attack on media
Organizers said they were angered when Fico released a video message on Tuesday addressed to “the clowns in the media”, telling them: “We will win the general elections again and I hope it hits ... you really hard.” In Slovak, “hit” can mean ‘impact’ as well as ‘shoot’. A day later, more than 300 journalists wrote an open letter saying Fico’s words made them a target and appeared to be a reference to the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak in February.
November 16
#slovakia
 
Explosive growth marks most CEE media markets in 2017
The Central and East European (CEE) advertising industry is growing at an astonishing pace, according to the CANnual Report 2018. While television is still the dominant media type in most countries of the region, digital, partly thanks to online videos, is catching up quickly. In Russia, the digital superpower of the region, advertisers spent €2.5bn last year on online advertising, which makes up 20% of the total ad spending of CEE.
November 19
#cee
 
Russian hacker arrested in Bulgaria for ad fraud of over $7 million
According to the little details known about the case, Zhukov stands accused of having committed ad fraud from September 2014 to December 2016. Kommersant reporters, who spoke to Zhukov's friends, said he operated a network of 50 servers that he rented to other people, who'd later use them to could inflate video ad views.
November 19
#bulgaria #russia
 
Kyiv city council approves changes to outdoor advertisement placing rules
The Kyiv City Council has permitted to change the rules of placing and removing outdoor advertising, banned placing advertisements on the landscaping elements.
November 20
#ukraine
 
Brazil, Latvia & Singapore pressure Zuckerberg to give evidence on political interference
An international coalition is piling pressure on Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg to give evidence to officials investigating the spread of disinformation and election meddling on the social platform after Brazil, Latvia and Singapore became the latest countries to sign up to an ‘international grand committee’.
November 20
#latvia
 
Only 1% of Bulgarians Believe in the Independence of the Media in Bulgaria
Only 1% of Bulgarians find the media in Bulgaria to be completely independent, and 63% of our compatriots consider the media to be dependent in some way, it became clear during a forum "Media and Politics in Bulgaria", organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The data is part of a study by Alpha Research, which makes such a national representative survey for the second consecutive year, reports bloombergtv.bg.
November 21
#bulgaria
 
Ukraine's Parliament to consider bill on criminalizing libel
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine proposes to introduce criminal liability for defamation in the media and on the internet.
November 21
#ukraine
 
Slovenia below average in dealing with hate speech on social media
Slovenia fares below average in terms of hate speech being removed from social media in 24 hours after such a case is reported, according to findings from 14 European countries. Facebook, Twitter and Youtube removed only 24% of such cases in Slovenia, as opposed to the average of 31% for all the countries taking part.
November 23
#slovenia
 
The Website That Shows How a Free Press Can Die
Today, Origo is one of the prime minister’s most dutiful media boosters, parroting his attacks on migrants and on George Soros, the Hungarian-American philanthropist demonized by the far right on both sides of the Atlantic. And if Origo once dug into Mr. Orban’s government, it now pounces on his political opponents.
November 24
#hungary
 
Poland Is Intimidating Our Journalists: U.S.-Owned Polish Broadcaster
U.S.-owned private Polish broadcaster TVN said it was facing intimidation after members of Poland's internal security agency entered a TVN cameraman's house and called him to a hearing over accusations he propagated Nazi propaganda.
November 25
#poland
 
Local TV Stations Temporarily Suspended over Anti-Migrant Hate Speech
Z1, the Slavonia-Baranja TV station and the Osijek TV station will lose their broadcasting rights for 24 hours, while SRCE TV, Adriatic TV and TV Jadran will be off air for 4 hours. After analysing the content of the talk show, which dealt with the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the Electronic Media Council decided that claims made in the show, hosted by Velimir Bujanec, constituted hate speech because they described migrants as terrorists and criminals and as people who intentionally spread infectious diseases.
November 26
#croatia
 
Russia opens civil case against Google over search results
Russia has launched a civil case against Google (GOOGL.O), accusing it of failing to comply with a legal requirement to remove certain entries from its search results, the country’s communications watchdog said on Monday.
November 26
#russia
 
PM's call on state-owned firms merely a first step
The bigger of the two associations of Slovenian journalists has welcomed an appeal by Prime Minister Marjan Šarec calling on state-owned firms to reconsider whether to advertise in media that spread hate speech. It said this was merely "the first step."
November 27
#slovenia
 
Russia and Ukraine Step Up Their Media War Over Crimea Crisis
Two days after Russian ships rammed Ukrainian navy boats off the coast of the Crimean peninsula, Russian television has shown several Ukrainian sailors captured during the incident giving “confessions” that appeared to have been made under duress.
November 27
#russia
 
How Russian Pornhub Hackers Pulled Off $30M Advertising Scam
That Pornhub hack managed to fly under the radar for more than a year before being discovered, by which time millions of users had been exposed to more than just porn. The malvertising attack, using malicious adverts that tricked users into downloading fake updates to their web browser software, was shut down quickly once Pornhub and the Traffic Junky advertising network were alerted to it by researchers from security specialists Proofpoint.
November 28
#russia
 
Facebook Will Introduce VAT of 20% on the Advertising in Russia
The company Facebook, which owns the eponymous social network, warned users registered in Russia about the introduction of value added tax (VAT) in the amount of 20% when buying advertising. This is stated in the message posted on the website Facebook.
November 28
#russia
 
Batkivshchyna spent UAH 25 mln on advertising activity over three months
The Batkivshchyna All-Ukrainian Union spent more than UAH 25 million on advertising and media activities in the second quarter of 2018, which is 206 times more than in the previous reporting period.
November 29
#ukraine
 
Ascanius Media – new name of the agency network in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Croatia
Agencies that have been operating within the Direct Media system in the markets of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Croatia have changed their name to Ascanius Media. Ascanius Media Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ascanius Media Croatia and Ascanius Media Slovenia continue to operate under a new name, as part of a new business strategy.
November 29
#slovenia #croatia #bosnia
 
Sofia Partly Moves Away from the Strict Advertising Rules
Putting refrigerators, freezers and grills on the pavements in front of the shops was banned by the municipal councilors only a few months ago. The motive was - a cleaner visual urban environment and fewer hurdles for pedestrians. It is now proposed that this ban be valid only for the city center but not for the rest of it, as it is too restrictive for business, writes in the motives for amending the rules.
November 29
#bulgaria
 
Orban and His Allies Cement Control of Hungary’s News Media
Hundreds of private Hungarian news outlets have been simultaneously donated by their owners to a central holding company run by people close to the far-right prime minister Viktor Orban, cementing Mr. Orban’s grip on the Hungarian news media.
November 29
#hungary
 
Poland Calls for Media Ownership Changes Amid Rift With U.S.
Poland renewed its call for a “re-Polonization” of foreign-owned media amid a rift with the U.S. about pressure on local broadcasting group TVN SA, which is controlled by Discovery Inc. Foreign ownership of the media “isn’t healthy,” Senate Speaker Stanislaw Karczewski told Rzeczpospolita daily in an interview Thursday.
November 29
#poland
 
Social media makes a joke of Poland's ban on surveys near elections
“Allow me to quote the agri-food exchange prices at 18.00, obtained from a number of independent producers,” began one tweet. “Tomatoes [up to] 33.7 [zloty]… beetroots [are at] 8.9,” said the next. In the run-up to elections in Poland, Twitter tends to be full of such market talk. Not because tweeters take a sudden interest in vegetable prices, but because, like two-thirds of European countries, Poland bans the publication of polls just before elections. Tomatoes (in Polish, POmidory) are code for the Civic Platform (po), a centre-right party; red beetroots signify the Left Democratic Alliance.
November 29
#poland
 
European Award for Reducing Alcohol Harm 2018 goes to Estonia
Estonian policy changes include among others: all outdoor advertising banned, alcohol advert watershed moved from 9pm to 10pm, alcohol advertisement in social media banned except on the site/account of alcohol producer or retailer.
November
#estonia
 
TV still rules CEE ad market
Television remains the dominant advertising media type in most countries of Central and Eastern Europe, although digital, partly thanks to online videos, is catching up quickly. Digital now accounts for around 20 per cent of the CEE ad market, which as a whole was worth 13 billion euros in 2017. The news comes from the latest edition of the CANual report, published by weCAN, a network of independent advertising agencies in 15 CEE countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.
November 30
#cee

 Photo: Flipboard, Unsplash