European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) series ´Member Spotlight´ aims to get to know a bit better the people behind the organisations EASA represent. This time, it’s the turn of Rada pro Reklamu (Czechia). EASA had the opportunity to chat with RPR’s new Executive Director, Marek Hlavica, and find out more about his background, RPR, and its main challenges.
Can you provide a brief overview of your background?
During the majority of my professional career, I have been involved in public relations. As an independent consultant, I led a consulting agency while also serving as the director of the PIAF international advertising festival. Subsequently, I held the position of director at the association of communication agencies known as AKA for seven years. This role led me to become a part of the executive committee and arbitration commission of the RPR, which AKA had founded. Throughout my career, I have maintained a strong connection with RPR.
What motivated your involvement in advertising self-regulation?
Having spent numerous years working in industries with stringent advertising regulations, such as tobacco, beer, and banking, I became keenly interested in advertising self-regulation. When the former director of RPR, Ladislav Šťastný, decided to step down, I saw an opportunity to contribute my expertise and offered my services to RPR. Having accomplished my mission at AKA, I felt a strong desire to embark on a new endeavor.
Could you provide further information about RPR, the organization you represent?
RPR will soon celebrate its 30th anniversary. As one of the pioneering organizations in “new Europe,” it took on the role of a self-regulator shortly after the fall of communism, when advertising legislation was still being formulated. However, RPR does not operate within a legal framework; instead, it is a voluntary and independent organization. Historically, the majority of our members consist of professional associations representing media, clients, and advertising agencies. Although the number of RPR members is not large (up to 20), they collectively represent the entire business community.
Could you provide some insights into the current and upcoming developments and priorities?
Thankfully, the national landscape has remained relatively stable for quite some time. RPR faced significant challenges in the past, particularly during periods when responsibility and professionalism were not widespread. Two years ago, we encountered political activism that occasionally sought to gain favor with voters by proposing simplistic advertising bans. However, we managed to overcome this phase by demonstrating through real cases that self-regulation is effective. The upcoming 30th-anniversary commemoration of RPR will serve as a pleasant occasion to reflect upon this accomplishment once again.
Are there any notable achievements you would like to mention?
RPR’s primary objective is to maintain a stable and predictable environment for its members’ activities. The fact that the Czech market operates without any extreme issues that would attract public and regulatory attention can be considered a significant success.
What are the current challenges facing RPR?
I wouldn’t say that RPR’s position is currently under threat. However, like many similar organizations, we face budgetary constraints. We have streamlined our operations and focused on our core mission—to be a trusted partner for businesses as well as for the government. We believe this can be accomplished without extravagant events or initiatives.
Find out more about RPR and its initiatives here.
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