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Last May the Foundation for Advertising Research embarked on a major project of creating a Best Practice Advertising Regulation Checklist. The Checklist is available on this link
There were two rounds of consultation and we received excellent feedback from practitioners and academics from all parts of the world with many constructive suggestions and improvements. Virtually all have been included in the final document. We are most grateful for the generous assistance we received in this most challenging project. We have now forwarded the Checklist to the industry Advertising Standards Steering Committee on APEC and other matters.
The request for a checklist came from the highest level. In November 2014 the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders, including Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama, signed up to a Leaders’ Declaration that included the following:
‘We endorse the APEC Action Agenda on Advertising Standards and Practice Development to promote alignment of advertising standards and reduce the cost of doing business across the region’
The ‘APEC Action Agenda on Advertising Standards and Practice Development’ listed four challenging tasks for completion in 2015. One of the tasks was:
‘Develop an advertising regulatory checklist in 2015 that details key elements of a regulatory framework that facilitates trade and investment and protects consumers.’
We undertook to develop the Checklist and we are pleased to complete it within the 2015 deadline.
The Checklist has two parts – Best Practice by Self-Regulatory Organisations (SROs) and Best Practice by Governments. There are two parts to Best Practice Advertising Regulation – Government regulation and self-regulation. It is not an either/or situation, as even the most sophisticated self-regulatory regimes require a regulatory framework.
The Checklist is long with a large number of questions. A very learned contributor rightly made the point that the list was long because it was a ‘set of ‘maximum’ demands that not more than a dozen or score of countries can satisfy’ and that a shorter version of ‘minimum’ demands would be more appropriate for new and emerging SROs. Consequently it is intended to devise a shorter checklist with essential ‘minimum’ demands in the New Year.
We believe that the development of a Checklist is significant as it provides guidance for those in Government and industry when developing advertising regulatory regimes. With increasing calls for ad hoc bans and restrictions it is important that proper procedures are followed.
We would like to emphasise that there is no one perfect model of a best practice advertising regulatory regime. Each regime needs to be adapted to meet local customs, culture and business practices. However the general principles remain constant.
Enjoy the Checklist.
The ICC has released a the first official version of its Code of Advertising and Marketing Communications in Mandarin. The code is now published in 11 different languages. The ICC Code is the master code used by virtually all Self-Regulatory advertising regimes globally. The fist code was published in 1937.
The Mandarin version can be obtained on this link
The ICC has also published the Framework on Alcohol Advertising in Spanish which is available on this link
The Singapore Government has recently announced that a self-regulatory regime will regulate the advertising of food to children. There have been ongoing discussions between industry organisations, the Singapore Ministry of Health and associated Health Promotion Board as to the best way to regulate the advertising of food and beverages to children. There has also been extensive consultation with various stakeholders.
New advertising guidelines will be incorporated in the Singapore Advertising Code of Practice and will take effect from January 2015. The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore will administer the Guidelines.
Included in the Guidelines will be uniform nutrient criteria. Only food and beverage products that meet the criteria may be advertised to children.
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has released its ‘Framework For Responsible Marketing Communications of Alcohol’. The Framework takes the Consolidated ICC Code as a base and then interprets it Article by Article as it applies to alcohol advertising.
Most of the Framework deals with the interpretation of social responsibility – something that is difficult to define in black letter law contained in statutory regulation. One of the key advantages of self-regulatory codes is that it is easier to define social responsibility.
This Framework will be of great assistance for jurisdictions that are considering upgrading their regulation of alcohol advertising.
The Framework can be found at http://www.codescentre.com/media/12670/icc-alcohol-framework_final_march2014.pdf
Further information on the Framework is at http://www.iccwbo.org/News/Articles/2014/New-ICC-Framework-clarifies-do%E2%80%99s-and-don%E2%80%99ts-for-responsible-marketing-of-alcohol/