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In a statement issued today, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has called for companies across the digital advertising ecosystem to work together to develop safeguards against advertisement placements that support illegal activity or harm brand reputation.

ICC is calling for industry co-operation on the development of a self-regulatory mechanism that reduces the likelihood of adverts being placed on sites dedicated to either engaging in or facilitating illegal activity or around content that an advertiser deems to be harmful.

“There is consensus among everyone in the ecosystem that advertising should not support illegal activity,” said Brent Sanders, Chair of the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising and Associate General Counsel for Microsoft Corporation. “This statement acknowledges the importance of a collective solution and encourages cooperation to set up effective, feasible self-regulatory solutions.”

“In addition to problems of undermining brand reputation and funding illegal sites, advert misplacements can also lead consumers to mistakenly believe that a site is legitimate,” said David Fares, Chair of the Working Group that developed the statement and Senior Vice President, Government Relations, 21st Century Fox. “ICC members want to help raise awareness of this issue and encourage development of effective mechanisms to address it. Some markets have started already and we encourage further developments of this kind.”

ICC recommends that an appropriate self-regulatory system to address misplaced advertising should include:

  1. Using commercially reasonable efforts and measures to  reduce the risk of adverts being placed on sites dedicated to either engaging in or facilitating illegal activity, nor on sites that the brand identifies as undesirable for its products/services; and
  2. Developing commercially reasonable policies and processes for removing or excluding sites dedicated to either engaging in or facilitating illegal activity from their marketing campaigns and/or services, and the development of an industry-wide standard for expeditiously terminating such non-compliant advert placements.

ICC has been a major rules-setter in international advertising self-regulation since 1937, when the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising issued the first code on advertising. Today, ICC principles serve as the gold standard for most national and sectoral self-regulation.

For more information download ICC policy statement on safeguarding against misplacement of digital advertising

For further information, please contact

  • Elizabeth THOMAS-RAYNAUD
  • +33 (0)1 49 53 28 07
  • Senior Policy Manager, Marketing and Advertising