The Greek Advertising – Communications Code (hereinafter the “Code”) issued by the Communication Control Council which is considered as soft law was recently amended by incorporating various innovative updates with respect to new technologies and advertising practices.
The new version of the Code is in force as from 15.06.2023 and can be found here (in Greek):
The new provisions give emphasis on the distinction between advertising communication and editorial or user-generated content; their scope includes new media and new communication & advertisement participants, such as social media, platforms, artificial intelligence-based marketing, influencers, bloggers and vloggers, affiliate networks, data analysts and ad tech companies; update the terminology and rules for the use of mobile phones and other portable devices in marketing based on the location and interests of the consumer (location-based and interest-based advertising); they also clarify the rules for advertising to children and teenagers, with new, precise definitions.
Special mention is given by the new Code to the rights of consumers in the new digital era. In particular, it is provided that appropriate measures must be taken to ensure that consumers understand their rights, such as the option to opt out of direct marketing lists of advertisers; the right to opt out of behavioral advertising (interest-based advertising) as well as to subscribe to lists that exclude them from telephone calls or other direct marketing practices, and their right to require that their data not be made available to third parties for promotional and commercial purposes.
The responsible persons/entities for the application of the Code have also been updated to become in line with the new digital reality. It is therefore defined that responsibility for compliance with the rules of the Code also rests with other participants in the advertising market ecosystem, including influencers, bloggers, vloggers, affiliate networks, data analytics and technology companies, as well as with those who design algorithms and use artificial intelligence techniques for marketing purposes.
Furthermore, the new code introduces new provisions for the regulation of digital marketing and advertising, which is a form of direct advertising to consumers and it takes place through digital platforms, social media etc. Under the relevant section of the Code, it is set that appropriate respect must be given by the advertisers/marketers/influencers etc. on the terms and conditions as well as codes of conducts of the several review sites, blogs, vlogs, as well as on the sensitivities, social norms, culture and traditions of the targeted public and the users.
Finally, special provisions are included in the Code with respect to the regulation of location-based and interest-based advertising (IBA). Such advertising method focuses on location-tracking of the internet users or on the web-tracking behavior over time and across multiple websites or applications owned and operated by different unaffiliated entities, for the purpose of users’ segmentation, and therefore, for the purpose of displaying advertisements related to the interests, preferences or location of the internet users. Such new provisions refer to the safety practices that must be implemented on the use and selection of users’ Personal Data by the websites and advertisers; the regulation methods and responsibilities on tracking the users’ location and device tracking as well as to the responsibility of the parties involved in website management and advertising to provide users with clear and detailed notice regarding the websites’ IBA's data collection and respective used practices.