MEP candidates will for the first time be allowed to buy radio adverts, after the Broadcasting Authority announced a rule change to give candidates more opportunities to get their message across.

The authority said in a statement on Monday that, under a trial scheme throughout February, nationwide radio stations would be authorised to provide airtime by receiving paid ad requests for information meetings organised by candidates in May's European Parliament elections. 

“If the scheme works well, with everyone’s cooperation, there is a greater possibility that it would be renewed for the following months,” the authority said.

“Abuse and strategic manoeuvring, amongst other things that undermine the scope and spirit of this initiative, certainly do not help.”

A directive sent to radio stations indicates that adverts have to be limited to information meetings and must be oriented towards the candidates, rather than their parties.

Stations are not allowed to discriminate between candidates, and cannot use their editorial policy to justify any discrimination. Moreover, they are required to establish a fair and transparent procedure regarding the order of broadcast.

Adverts, which must be no longer than 30 seconds, can only run in two one-hour time slots and no candidate can have more than one advert per time slot.

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.