Marketing & advertising

ICC Marketing Code reaffirmed as global standard at APEC conference

  • 24 August 2017
icc advertising marketing code

On 23 and 24 August 2017, ICC participated in the fourth Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) workshop on advertising standards in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to discuss the establishment and implementation of effective advertising standards across the Asia-Pacific region.

ICC participated in a panel on “Establishing and Aligning Ad Standards” to discuss the benefits of advertising standards for consumers, regulators and companies.  On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the ICC Code, Ms Martin recalled that the APEC Policy Support Unit report referred to the Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communications Practice (the ICC Code) as the globally accepted best practice principles and reiterated the Code’s role in helping build consumer trust by using high ethical standards and marketing products responsibly.

Since the first APEC advertising standards meeting in Hanoi in 2012, APEC economies have sought to promote the adoption and effective implementation of advertising standards consistent with international best practice. Five years on, the aim of this workshop was to address APEC ministers’ instructions in 2016 with regards to “promoting the alignment of advertising standards and reducing the cost of doing business across the region” and to “prepare a five year implementation strategy.” On this occasion, the 2017 APEC conference reflected on achievements made and challenges faced since 2012, with reference to specific case studies and best practices in key sectors, in order to set out important action plans for further development of effective advertising standards.

The workshop, entitled “From Principles to Implementation” brought together important government and advertising industry participants from APEC economies to advance the APEC Action Agenda on Advertising  Standards and Practice Development and examined how APEC economies can implement these recommendations with key indicators for doing so.  In 2014, APEC Leaders adopted the APEC Action Agenda which established overall principles for facilitating effective and efficient cooperation and the establishment of a more focused and aligned set of systems of advertising standards across the Asia-Pacific region and set out steps APEC would take between 2015 and 2017.

This year’s conference featured a series of discussion panels during which notable speakers from both international and national regulatory organisations, as well as major private-sector companies, shared their experience and expertise in implementing advertising standards. Raelene Martin, Project Manager for the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising, represented the International Chamber of Commerce in advocating for the alignment of industry standards and the benefits of self-regulation.

On the second day of the conference, ICC was represented on a panel entitled “Delivering Responsible Advertising in Key Sectors”, which discussed best practices for monitoring digital advertising. Both discussions emphasised the role of advertising as an important driver of economic growth and re-asserted the benefits for aligning advertising standards. The importance of aligning advertising standards to facilitate international trade—one of ICC’s central missions—was also reaffirmed.

“The ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising is committed to working with industry and other key stakeholders to help advocate the benefits of advertising self-regulation and the alignment of advertising standards at international level,” Raelene Martin, Project Manager for the ICC Commission, said. “This year’s APEC conference provided an ideal forum to re-state this commitment and advance together towards the shared goal of greater public trust in marketing and advertising.”

The ICC Code, developed by the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising, is the gold standard for the most nationally applied self-regulation around the world. The ICC Code celebrates its 80th anniversary this year and has served as the foundation and building block for self-regulatory structures around the world and offers a globally consistent baseline for economies developing advertising principles while also providing flexibility for local laws and culture to be reflected in a local code. It is a recognised and trusted rule-setting tool for the marketing and advertising industry, and at the same time is noted for its adaptability to local market and policy conditions. View the ICC Code here.