EMMA answers Commission consultation on the Car Labelling Directive

The Car Labelling Directive 1999/94/EC, which outlines the requirements for informing consumers about the energy consumption and environmental impact of passenger cars, is currently under evaluation in the European Commission.

The objective of this exercise is to see whether the Directive is still fit for purpose or whether it requires some adjustments. As part of the evaluation process, the European Commission ran a consultation on its website that closed mid-January. This consultation invited individuals, companies and relevant stakeholders to give feedback on the way the Directive has been implemented, whether the information requirements are efficient or not and on what could be improved.

Since publishers are directly affected by the Directive, EMMA submitted a joint response with its colleagues from the European Newspaper Publishers Association. While the purpose of the Car Labelling Directive is to enable consumers to make an informed purchase decision when buying a new passenger car, one of the measures adopted is that print advertising must carry the fuel consumption and the CO2 emissions of the car advertised.

This particular measure was in the focus of EMMA’s answer to the Commission’s questionnaire. Indeed, studies have shown that this type of detailed information is not taken into account by consumers in their purchase decision when it is disclosed in an advert. Rather, technical information is sought out at the point of sale, like in a show room, or in technical brochures, where they expect to have precise comparable data on energy consumption or fuel efficiency. That said, including such information in advertisements does not appear to have an added value to EU citizens, while this measure is highly burdensome for magazine publishers since it leads advertisers to choose other ways to market cars, moving away from printed advertising. Consequently, publishers experience a revenue loss, whereas they are dependent on advertising to survive.

In its answer to the Commission consultation, EMMA therefore explained in detail the impact of the existing measures on publishers´ business. We asked in particular that any revision of the Directive does not lead to an extension of the current provisions on advertising to either new categories of vehicles, to other media, or to more information requirements. Following an analysis of the contributions to the consultation, the Commission will decide on whether to revise the Directive or not. EMMA will monitor closely future discussions on the subject.

For further information contact:

Amandine Hähnel 
EU Affairs Manager


+32 2 536 06 08


The European Magazine Media Association, is the unique and complete representation of Europe’s magazine media, which is today enjoyed by millions of consumers on various platforms, encompassing both paper and digital formats.


The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) is the largest representative body of newspaper publishers across Europe. ENPA advocates for 14 national associations across 14 European countries, and is a principal interlocutor to the EU institutions and a key driver of media policy debates in the European Union.