UN expert kicks off Research on rights on the impact of advertising and Advertising

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UN expert kicks off Research on rights on the impact of advertising and Advertising

GENEVA (7 February 2014) — The United Nations Special Rapporteur in the area of cultural faith, Farida Shaheed, is starting a new study on the effect of advertising and marketing practices on cultural rights, and with an up-close look in their impact on cultural diversity and individual rights.

Ms. Shaheed will probably be looking at the impact of commercial exemptions on academic and artistic freedoms, in addition to on the content of art museum displays, among other problems. This year, her record will be regarded by the UN General Assembly in October.

“One underlying issue”, the human rights specialist said, “relates to the impact that advertising and marketing practices could have on cultural diversity and the right of individuals to pick their way of life”.

“The modification of our ethnic and symbolic landscapes through billboards or displays, the increasing encroachment of advertisements within our public space and also the intrusion of advertising schools and universities are among the issues that I mean to deal with in this report,” she explained.

The Special Rapporteur has laid the foundation for her study with experts in New York through a primary series of meetings. She has also achieved to all UN Member States and other interested parties to find their perspectives, such as on the use of confidential information for industrial purposes, the use of neuromarketing or behavioural targeting, and possible regulation to differentiate commercial language from non-commercial speech. *

“Many moral and human rights issues are at stake”, Ms. Shaheed emphasized. “I’m particularly interested in the mechanisms that could ensure an assortment of narratives and worth in the public space and through mass media, beyond what is often referred to as ‘business culture. ”’

The Special Rapporteur’s study on the impact of advertising and marketing practices on rights will be made available online at September / October 2014.

(*) Check the Special Rapporteur’s webpage on the continuing study, including the questionnaire for all interested stakeholders (deadline: 3 March 2014)


Ms. Farida Shaheed took her up as Independent Expert and Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights in August 2009. She has worked for more than 25 years protecting and promoting cultural rights by fostering policies and projects made in culturally sensitive approaches to encourage the rights of marginalized businesses, including women, peasants, and religious and cultural minorities. Ms. Shaheed has become the recipient of many international and national human rights awards, which is a seasoned participant in discussions at international, regional and domestic levels. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/CulturalRights/Pages/SRCulturalRightsIndex.aspx

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For inquiries and media requests, please contact Ms. Mylène Bidault (+41 22 917 9254 / / mbidault@ohchr.org) or write to srculturalrights@ohchr.org