07 April 2014

Argentina I

WHEREAS the Argentine government continues to perpetuate its model of distribution of government advertising, ignoring Supreme Court rulings that require it to follow objective and reasonable guidelines in placing its advertising WHEREAS public funds assigned to this end continue to grow, according to official figures by 45% last year, as well as its use as a tool of indirect censorship through a system of rewards and punishments WHEREAS at the same time for more than a year there has been a boycott on private sector advertising, in which companies of various kinds have interrupted or reduced their advertising under official pressure and fear or reprisals WHEREAS these actions continue to result in year-to-year 50% reductions in these advertisements, which creates enormous damage to the sustainability of news companies WHEREAS these actions openly and directly violate Principle 7 of the Declaration of Chapultepec: “Tariff and exchange policies, licenses for the importation of paper or news-gathering equipment, the assigning of radio and television frequencies and the granting or withdrawal of government advertising may not be used to reward or punish the media or individual journalists” THE IAPA RESOLVES to urge the Argentine government to cease its discriminatory practices regarding placement of government advertising, by using objective and equitable criteria and not using public resources as a means of rewards and punishments to reiterate to the Argentine Congress the need to enact a law that, in accordance with international standards, regulates the placement of government advertising to emphatically condemn the private-sector advertising boycott in effect for more than a year, arising from undue government pressure on advertisers to urge the private sector to be consistent with the principles of freedom of expression and free competition, and resist participating in these measures.