European Association of Communications Agencies

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The Brussels based European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) represents advertising and media agencies and associations in Europe. EACA's stated aim is to raise "awareness of the contribution of advertising in a free market economy and to encourage close co-operation between agencies, advertisers and media in European advertising bodies"[1]. As a result, The EACA is a leading trade association for European commercial communications agencies.

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EACA, formerly the European Association of Advertising Agencies, was founded in 1959.[2]

Beyond Europe

The EACA is a founding member of a global communications network, in association with industry bodies in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South America and South Africa. The EACA has also signed co-operation agreements with leading communications organisations such as the World Advertising Research Centre (WARC), MayDream/AdForum and Ballester.[3]

The EACA is also a founder member of the Advertising Education Forum (AEF).


Tobacco advertising

The EACA and its members are active in promoting self-regulation in advertising. They claim to work closely with the European Commission in this respect.

This is controversial as the EACA's interests may differ from that of the European Commission and general public, as the EACA represents its members, many of whom are profit-making organisations. One recent controversy in Europe has been the restriction on cigarettes and tobacco advertising. According to the European Commission, "More than half a million people die every year in the European Union as a direct or indirect consequence of smoking. This makes nicotine addiction the most important avoidable cause of disease and premature death."[4]

For this reason, tobacco industry advertising is heavily regulated worldwide. Most countries have some form of regulation restricting the advertising of tobacco and cigarettes. However, the EACA believe this should be self-regulated and countries should not have differing restrictions.

The EACA released this public statement on where they stand on this issue on their website. They said:

The Communications Agency Industry fully recognizes society's right to restrict the sale and manufacture of products with potential harmful effects. However, it also distances itself from the current European debate singling out the existence of advertising of tobacco.[5]

Media Smart

Another controversy with the EACA is Media Smart, a tool aimed at children to aid in recognising and interpreting advertising to ensure that adequate and informed choices are made. It is recognised by the EACA as an EU-wide initiative. In the UK, Media Smart says it is supporting this by "creating an exciting media literacy programme for primary school children in the UK."[6] It is also supported by Dr. Henning von Vieregge, of the National Associations Council. He believes education of this sort is more useful than regulation of advertising to children. He says, "We should be expanding communication education making our children more media literate, starting in the Kindergarten. Media Smart, for example, is an initiative covering this very topic."[7]

When backed by such a senior figure as Dr. Henning von Vieregge, the concept of Media Smart gains legitimacy. However, the company Media Smart is funded by the media industry and has its offices in two places according to the website and the registered address for the domain name. These addresses also house the Advertising Association and two major PR and marketing agencies, and its high profile supporter, Dr. Henning von Vieregge is quoted as having some controversial views in the same Schlott Publication. He believes, "Nowadays, children quickly learn how advertising works at an early age ... They do not need any special protection."[8] In the wrong hands, Media Smart could be used to legitimise advertising to children. This could be seen in the junk food sector and other industries which have traditionally targeted children, as it claims that educated children can make informed choices through Media Smart.

Membership structure

The membership structure is divided into five councils in order to oversee particular areas of interest:[9]


As of September 2009, EACA's alliances are listed as:[10]


As of September 2009, EACA's partners are listed as:[11]

Board of directors 2015

President 2015

National Associations' Council 2015

International Agencies' Council 2015

Health Communications' Council 2015

Media Agencies' Council 2015

Integrated Marketing Communications Council 2015

Board of Directors 2009

As of September 2009, EACA's board of directors is as follows:[13]

National Associations Council 2009

International Agencies Council 2009

Media Agencies Council 2009

Integrated Marketing Communications Council 2009

Health Communications Council 2009

References, Resources and Contact

  1. EACA Website About EACA (Accessed: 2 July 2007)
  2. About the EACA, EACA website, accessed 24 March 2008
  3. About EACA, EACA website, accessed 21 Sept 2009.
  4. Tobacco, European Commission, accessed 25 March 2008
  5. EACA Issues, EACA website, accessed 18 March 2008
  6. OFCOM, Media Smart website, version archived 27 Jul 2003, accessed 21 Sept 2009
  7. Schlott Publication, accessed 25 March 2008
  8. Schlott Publication [1],accessed 25 March 2008
  9. EACA Members, EACA website, accessed 21 September 2009
  10. EACA Members, EACA website, accessed 21 Sept 2009
  11. EACA Partners, EACA website, accessed 21 Sept 2009
  12. EACA Board eaca, accessed 2 April 2015
  13. Executive Board Members 2009/2010, EACA website, accessed 21 Sept 2009