Self-regulation in the marketing and advertising sector demonstrates recognition by advertisers, agencies and the media that advertising should comply with a set of ethical rules.
Organized by ICC Morocco and the European Group of TV and radio sales houses in Casablanca on 31 October 2007, the event focused on two issues: the advantages of self-regulation and the need for a consensus in Morocco on the subject; and the challenges to advertising regulation presented by new media, in particular related to digital television.
Following the introduction in 2005 of legislation targeting audiovisual communication, the Moroccan advertising industry was faced with an important question: how is it possible to balance advertising freedom of expression and respect for the consumer? Discussion focused on the complementary nature of national legislation and a self-regulatory framework.
Participants came from a variety of backgrounds, and included consumers, representatives of the advertising industry, non-governmental organizations, business, and representatives from government authorities including the High Authority for Audiovisual Counsel. Discussions at the event also covered current legislation in Morocco on the subject of audiovisual communication, country perspectives, the position of the European Union and the possibility of setting up self-regulatory organizations, such as BVP in France, or JEP in Belgium. Such initiatives were met with an extremely favorable response, and participants endorsed self-regulation as a timely and flexible solution to current regulatory issues in Morocco.
Praising the excellent organization and initiative of ICC Morocco, Oliver Gray, Co-chair of the ICC Task Force on Code Revision and Director General of the European Advertising Standards Alliance said: “It was clear during the meeting that there is room and a will for self-regulation in Morocco. This point was proven when the event concluded with an industry declaration to build an operational, self-regulatory system there in 2008.”
Mr Gray spoke at the event about the need for self-regulation and explained how it worked using examples from the existing self-regulatory network across Europe. He also suggested using the French version of the ICC Consolidated Code on Marketing and Advertising Practice as a basis, and adapting it for local usage.
In addition to the English and French versions, the Consolidated ICC Code on Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice is currently available in Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian, Swedish and Turkish, with more translations expected in the near future.