IAB Europe would like to share the open letter that IAB Poland has sent to all members today. The letter is a call for members to act together to oppose the proposed tax on advertising revenues. In protest against the proposed media advertising tax, many private media outlets in Poland went off the air yesterday, running slogans such as “This used to be your favourite programme. The Polish government says the “solidarity” tax would raise money to bolster state finances badly strained by the coronavirus pandemic, but 45 media companies signed a letter that said they already pay many taxes and that the advertising tax could push some to collapse. In the letter to the authorities ahead of the blackout, dozens of private media companies also said that they believed "such drastic action is necessary because without free media there is no free choice, and without free choice, there is no freedom".
The tax threatens media independence and diversity. It will also financially impact many privately-owned Polish media outlets, which depend on advertising for their financing. IAB Europe stands with IAB Poland and The European Commission, who have also expressed concern over media freedom in Poland.
OPEN LETTER. Warsaw, February 11, 2021 - Appeal to IAB Polska member companies on tax on advertising revenues
Ladies and gentlemen,
We sympathize with the media's protest under the slogan "media without choice" because the use of an epidemic as an excuse to introduce another, exceptionally severe and permanent tax, which will not be eliminated with the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. We therefore raise our strong opposition to the proposed tax and appeal for unity and mobilization of all IAB Polska member companies in this difficult industry moment.
We call for the floor to be heard in open consultations by the Ministry of Finance. We are currently working on our position and we will share it with you on February 15.
Introducing an additional burden, mildly and confusingly called "solidarity contribution", on advertising revenue is another killer blow to the media that has suffered severe
losses caused by the pandemic crisis. Be warned that the new tax will hit all entrepreneurs across the advertising chain. It may seem that it will not apply to everyone, but we are concerned that the deepening, unequal treatment of all entrepreneurs is only a matter of time.
The so-called "Advertising tax" places another financial burden for the entire media ecosystem. For nearly a year now, the coronavirus has suffocated all sectors, and the new tax tightens the loops around entrepreneurs' necks even tighter. Like a chain reaction we could see many businesses close. We will all lose in the end because the cost of the tax will be passed on to each family in Poland. The economic downturn and worries about jobs is another financial burden for each and every one of us.
Only by acting together can we put pressure on the government to pull back the procedure of the bill. Industry solidarity is the only chance to change the unfair regulations.
President of the Management Board of IAB Polska