The media law provisions of the Compliance Management System (CMS) particularly deal with journalistic independence, the principles of the separation of advertising and programming, the requirements for product placement and protection of young people, and the prevention of surreptitious advertising and broadcasting of legally prohibited advertising. For 2017, we identified a total of eleven violations in connection with media law provisions: seven against programming principles and journalistic duties of care and four against laws for the protection of young people.  [GRI 103-1, GRI 103-2, GRI 416-2]

  • ProSiebenSat.1 Group is particularly committed to differentiating between editorial reporting and broadcasts for advertising purposes in its TV programs. The responsible TV editors and editorial management are responsible for ensuring that advertising and programming are clearly separated. At corresponding compliance events, they are trained on the bans in place and the legal consequences in the event of violations. The management of the TV stations must also ensure that suitable budgets are chosen for each program and that sufficient funds are available so that there is no need to accept financial contributions from third parties to the extent that this would constitute impermissible surreptitious advertising. In substantiated individual cases where the usage of surreptitious advertising is suspected, an ad-hoc supervisory committee takes action. This committee is set up by the Executive Board of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE and consists of one employee each from the Internal Audit and Legal Affairs departments and an external lawyer. [GRI 102-16]

    The Group is committed to following the provisions of the German Interstate Broadcasting Agreement and the Common Guidelines of the State Media Authorities for advertising, for ensuring separation of advertising and programming, and for sponsorship on television. In particular, each employee must ensure that the prohibition of programming influence, the ban on surreptitious advertising, and the identification requirements are upheld. It is also necessary to prevent the content and location of a sponsored program from being influenced by the sponsor in a way that impairs the responsibility and editorial independence of the broadcaster. Support for productions from third parties must be indicated in accordance with the legal regulations; such notifications should generally be made at the end of the relevant program. [GRI 103-2, GRI 102-16]

    The details are chiefly regulated by ProSiebenSat.1’s guidelines on the separation of advertising and programming, which also include specific explanations regarding bans on the placement of particular products and services. They provide the employees with mandatory regulations under their employment contracts. The guidelines for the German stations serve to maintain journalistic credibility and ensure that content is independent from third-party influences as the top programming principle. National legal provisions also apply to the TV stations in Austria and Switzerland. [GRI 103-2, GRI 102-16]
  • To ensure journalistic independence and comply with fundamental media regulations, the Group formulated guidelines in 2005 which are binding for all of the Company’s program makers in Germany. The “Guidelines for Ensuring Journalistic Independence” specify the understanding of the journalistic principles set forth in the Press Code of the German Press Council. ProSiebenSat.1 Group is committed to a free and democratic order as set out in the constitution (Grundgesetz) of the Federal Republic of Germany. In accordance with internal guidelines, journalists, and editors working for ProSiebenSat.1 must follow the International Federation of Journalists’ Principles on the Conduct of Journalists. According to these principles, they are essentially free with regard to creating their content and report independently of social, economic, or political interest groups. [GRI 103-2, GRI 102-16]
  • As a media company, political independence is of the utmost importance to ProSiebenSat.1. Cash and non-cash donations to political parties are therefore forbidden unless the donation is approved by the Executive Board of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE in advance. In 2017, ProSiebenSat.1 Group made no cash or non-cash donations to political parties. Generally, editorial content must not be influenced by private or commercial interests of third parties or by personal or economic interests of employees. At the same time, the journalists and editors are aware of their responsibility with regard to the dissemination of information and their contribution to shaping opinions. The responsible editorial staff, particularly the editors-in-chief, are responsible for complying with these guidelines and principles of conduct and implementing them into day-to-day business. [GRI 415-1]
  • The youth protection officers at ProSiebenSat.1 Group make sure that all TV and online content for which the Group is responsible is offered in an age-appropriate way. The goal is to make it difficult for children and young people to gain access to content that is unsuitable for their age group. The German Interstate Agreement on Youth Protection in the Media stipulates clear requirements for this. The Group’s youth protection officers are autonomous in their work and are responsible for ensuring that content which is unsuitable for children and young people is broadcast only at the legally stipulated times. In addition, they use technical means to protect young people from the dissemination of content on ProSiebenSat.1’s websites that could potentially harm their development. To this end, the youth protection officers are involved in the production and purchasing of programs at an early stage. They assess scripts in advance, support productions, and prepare expert reports. Within the Company they perform an advisory role, while externally they are available to viewers and users as contact persons for complaints, for example. [GRI 102-16, GRI M4]

Youth protection at ProSiebenSat.1

Independently from the work of the youth protection officers, TV and online editors receive regular training on youth protection regulations. In addition to training employees and providing internal guidelines, we also actively promote the protection of young people via various organizations: [GRI 102-16] Compliance

memberships of ProSiebenSat.1 with regard to YOUTH protection
  • Voluntary self-regulatory association for television (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen – FSF)
  • Voluntary selfregulatory association for multimedia (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Multimedia-Diensteanbieter – FSM)
  • Association for the promotion of child and youth protection (Verein zur Förderung des Kinder- und Jugendschutzes – JusProg)