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Tech giants are media companies in Brazilian advertising market

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Tech giants are media companies in Brazilian advertising market

The nature of tech giants and their similarities with media companies have been passionately debated over the last couple of years, with the giants consistently resisting the characterization on grounds that "we hire engineers" not journalists.

In Brazil  the matter was solved on July 16 by the Conselho Executivo das Normas-Padrão – CENP (Standard Norms Executive Council) - an "ethics entity created by the private sector to assure good commercial practices among advertisers, advertising agencies and the media".

In its resolution, CENP extends the definition of "Disclosure or Communication Vehicles" for "the purposes of the legislation in force" to all legal entities receiving revenues from their "ability to transmit advertising messages". The document further lists the "media/general categories" that are identified as "Disclosure or Communication Vehicles" and indicates along with newspapers and cinema also "Internet-Search, Internet-Social, Internet-Video, Internet-Audio, Internet Display and Others".

Two of the largest newspapers in Brazil, Folha de S. Paulo and O Globo, published editorials on the topic. The initiative of CENP had the support of the Brazilian Newspaper Association, member of WAN-IFRA.

The resolution - attached at the bottom of this page - is accompanied by the legal opinion that informed it. 

Here below the English text of the CENP press release, which clearly states that the decision is seen as a first step towards holding the digital platforms accountable for the content they host. 


The Executive Council of Standard Norms (CENP), the Brazilian advertising market self-regulatory entity, approved a resolution that considers digital platforms such as Google, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube as media. The decision is seen in Brazil as an important step for these digital platforms to submit in the country to the same rules that apply to other media, such as accountability for the content they serve. By CENP resolution, any company that has revenue from advertising is a means of communication.

The CENP, which for more than twenty years has been conducting ethical and commercial self-regulation of the Brazilian advertising market, includes entities that constitute a tripod of this market: agencies, vehicles and advertisers. Although it is private, the CENP is explicitly cited in Brazilian law and recognized as qualified to certify the technical qualification of advertising agencies operating in the environment of the so-called Brazilian Advertising Model, in which full-service agencies occupy central space.

“The international recognition that our advertising has is largely due to the competitive, fair, harmonious, transparent and safe operation of the Brazilian market. All who work here are expected to participate in these principles and join those who have historically built the foundations of the ethical-business relationship. Symmetrical competition is synonymous with healthy competition”, says Caio Barsotti, president of CENP. “This resolution can help overcome compliance challenges.”

According to the bases of the Brazilian Advertising Model, gathered in the CENP Standard Rules of Advertising Activity, the agencies' remuneration is fixed by the media, for each business intermediated on behalf of their advertising clients. It is also worth remembering that Brazilian law requires public advertisers to only run their campaigns using the services of certified advertising agencies and in vehicles recognized as such.

Brazilian law has left to the entities and advertising class institutions the attribution of recognition of the disclosure vehicles. Given its statutory characteristics, the CENP, with the participation and representation of all national organizations of advertisers, agencies and vehicles (on and off), is able to clarify which communication and dissemination vehicles operate in the market.

In apparent reaction the IAB Brazil has disconnected from the CENP.



Elena Perotti's picture

Elena Perotti


2019-08-06 22:47

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