Marketing & advertising

ICC Principles on Automatic Subscription Renewals

  • 14 April 2023

ICC Principles on Automatic Subscription Renewals

These first of their kind ICC principles help to interpret the fundamental global standards of the ICC Marketing Code to offer more specific guidance on issues unique to automatic renewals. This paper highlights five best practices businesses should apply when offering automatic subscription renewals, specifically around disclosure, consent, written confirmation, cancellation and notice. Similarly, countries seeking to establish or enhance marketing self-regulation codes can look to these principles to easily adapt them into their national codes.

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When dealing with automatic renewals, what are the best practices businesses should consider?

Automatic renewals are popular and beneficial to consumers, offering the convenience of not having to constantly renew contracts for the purchase of goods or services that consumers regularly use. Free or discounted trials that convert to paid automatic renewals can provide consumers with an easy means to sample goods or services.

ICC upholds responsible, fair, honest and transparent marketing practices. As such it strongly discourages the use of practices that purposely manipulate consumers into unknowingly signing up for automatic renewals, or which trap consumers in automatic renewals by making it difficult to cancel. Applying the five principles below can help marketers avoid such practices: