Restrictions on Private Advertising

Fundación LED (Libertad de Expresión + Democracia) is deeply concerned about private advertising restrictions imposed on supermarket chains by the Federal Government as a consequence of the Price Agreement recently announced by the Office of the Secretary of Commerce for Domestic Operations.

This is a clear contradiction of the principles of Freedom of Expression and Consumer Rights guarded in the Argentine Constitution.

Section 22 of the Argentine Constitution guarantees consumers and users the right to “adequate and truthful information”—a guarantee under all sorts of restrictions in the current circumstances.

On the other hand, and bearing in mind the recent report by the Office of the Auditor General of Argentina stressing the lack of equitable criteria to allocate State advertising, hampering of private sector advertising is being used an additional mechanism to exert pressure on any media expressing opinions other than the Government´s.

Indeed, the OAS Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression, which our country has embraced, maintains in Section 5 that “the imposition of obstacles to the free flow of information violate (s) the right to freedom of expression.” Further, Section 13 states that “the arbitrary and discriminatory placement of official advertising… threaten freedom of expression, and must be explicitly prohibited by law.”

The pattern directly and indirectly curtailing freedom of expression, access to information and consumer rights configured through Government actions damages our democratic system.

Fundación LED shall continue endeavoring to make visible all acts restricting the exercise of rights in our country. Fundación LED urges society to become aware of the seriousness of this type of situations for democratic life.