Implementation Guide for the ICC Marketing Codes

    Prepared by the ICC commission on : Commission on Marketing and Advertising
    Publication date : 11/05/2010 | Document Number : 240/619

    Since 1937, when the first ICC Code on Advertising Practice was issued. Since then, it has extended the ICC self-regulatory framework on many occasions to assist companies in marketing their products responsibly.

    A revised Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communications Practice was issued in 2011, following in the long-established tradition of promoting high ethical standards for advertisers, advertising agencies and the media around the world. The revision and development of new codes is on-going work undertaken by the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising which brings together some of the best marketing, self-regulatory and legal expertise available from the range of participants in the industry and from around the world.

    The Code is a fundamental underpinning but the credibility of self-regulation depends on its implementation. For the individual company or any other organization a commitment to a Code of Conduct will be of true benefit only when the principles and rules are made part of the governing policy and are actively applied and enforced.

    This Guide has been drawn up with a view to facilitate the practical use of the ICC Marketing Codes specifically. However, it is based on general and sound principles of compliance, and may therefore prove helpful in relation to other sets of rules. In particular, it will easily apply to the implementation of national or sectoral codes in the field of marketing communications, which throughout the world are based on the ICC Codes.

    Although the Guide gives advice on how to implement the Codes within an organization, the need to support and combine efforts with any relevant self-regulatory bodies set up by the industry should be underscored. When established with the means to be effective, such schemes multiply the value of self-regulation. Consultation of self-regulatory decisions and copy advice facilities can also provide deeper understanding of interpretation matters.