ICC Releases New Code of Conduct for Global Marketing Industry

L-R: Carla Michelotti (International Advertising Association), Sheila Millar (Keller & Heckman), Lee Peeler (National Advertising Division)
Launched September 25 at a conference in New York, the new edition of the flagship ICC Marketing Code raises consumer protection standards around the world and expands rules in the digital realm.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has released the tenth revision of its flagship Advertising and Marketing Communications Code – a globally applicable self-regulatory framework developed by experts from all industry sectors worldwide. The ICC Marketing Code was launched on September 25 during the National Advertising Division’s 2018 Annual Conference in New York. ICC is the world’s largest business organisation, representing over 45 million companies and more than one billion employees. USCIB serves as ICC’s exclusive American national committee.

Underpinning self-regulatory frameworks in 42 countries, the ICC Marketing Code seeks to protect consumers by clearly setting out the “dos and don’ts” for responsible marketing to ensure legal, honest, decent and truthful communications and practices. This new revision ensures that the ICC Marketing Code takes into account emerging digital marketing and advertising practices, such as artificial intelligence-enabled marketing, market influencers, vloggers and data analytics.

“ICC’s global membership ensures that there is a worldwide consensus on Marketing and Advertising issues, and a unified voice when business speaks to the UN and to national governments,” said Carla Michelotti, vice president of the International Advertising Association and the vice chair of USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee.

Sheila Millar, partner with Keller & Heckman and vice chair of the ICC Marketing and Advertising Commission, who joined Michelotti in unveiling the revised code, added: “The goal was to make sure that the ICC Code remains relevant to the marketplace of today, including modern technologies and marketing practices. We wanted to make it future-proof.”

The tenth revision of the ICC Marketing Code includes:

  • Enhanced guidance on distinguishing marketing communications content from true editorial and user generated content
  • Expanded coverage of the rules to include emerging digital mediums and participants
  • Consolidated rules on direct marketing and digital marketing communications
  • Updated terminology and guidance on the applicability of mobile phones and cross-devices to location-based advertising and interest-based advertising
  • Clarified rules on advertising to children and teens

“The digital transformation of marketing and advertising underscores the critical importance of trust between consumers and companies,” said ICC Secretary General John Denton. “The ICC Marketing Code sets the gold standard for ethical advertising that will help ensure consumer trust in the years to come.”

Brent Sanders, assistant general counsel at Microsoft and chair of the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising (as well as USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee), agreed and noted: “The ICC Marketing Code has served as the inspiration for self-regulatory codes and as a building block for self-regulatory structures around the world. By ensuring advertising is honest, transparent and decent, these systems build consumer trust and provide quick and easy redress when transgressions occur.”

A Spanish-language edition of the newly-revised ICC Marketing Code will be launched in Cartagena, Colombia – and accessible globally online – on October 2.

The ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising examines major marketing and advertising related policy issues of interest to world business and brings together top experts on self-regulation and ethical best practices in advertising and marketing communications. ICC has been the major rule-setter in international advertising self-regulation since 1937, when the Commission issued its first Marketing Code – one of the most successful examples of business self-regulation ever developed.

Staff Contact:   Kira Yevtukhova

Acting Director of Communications
Tel: 202.617.3160

Kira Yevtukhova manages USCIB’s print and online publications, including the website, e-newsletter and quarterly magazine, and serves as the organization’s digital media strategist. Prior to this role, Kira worked for over five years within USCIB’s Policy Department, focusing on climate change, environment, nutrition, health, and chemicals related policy issues. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and is currently pursuing an MBA at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.
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