ICC Academy Launches Free e-Course on Responsible Marketing and Advertising

The new ICC Academy e-course builds on decades of expertise in establishing high standards for marketers and ad agencies.

The educational arm of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the ICC Academy, has launched a new e-course based on ICC’s internationally-recognized Marketing and Advertising Code. Entitled “Ethical Marketing and Advertising” (EMA), the e-course is available free of charge, and aims to develop the skills needed to conceptualize, design and deliver responsible marketing communications.

From micro-enterprises to large multinational companies, nearly all businesses use marketing in some form to sell their products or services. However, in a world where good governance and consumer trust are increasingly important, there is a greater expectation from consumers for brands to communicate transparently about their operations and product offering. This interactive e-course serves to encourage ethical marketing solutions as better, more effective forms of advertising.

“We are proud to launch the EMA on the ICC Academy’s digital learning platform,” said Daniel Kok, general manager of the ICC Academy. “We believe that formal training is essential to create high industry standards and practice. Our aim for this e-course is to establish a foundation in marketing for businesses across all markets.”

The EMA builds on decades of expertise and is designed for marketers, advertising agencies, self-regulatory organizations and universities and expands on a program initially developed with the renowned international business school, INSEAD.

“The ICC Code provides globally applicable road signs for marketing practice, which help build confidence in business. This e-course brings the Code guidance to life with the aid of practical industry examples,” said Brent Sanders, assistant general counsel at Microsoft and chair of the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising, who also chairs USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee. “We recognize the invaluable contributions of self-regulatory and partner organisations across the globe in developing this interactive course that we believe will reinforce the Code’s effectiveness.”

Comprising six lessons, the two-hour interactive e-course:

  • covers ICC Code basics
  • provides an overview of the importance of responsible advertising
  • explains responsible marketing principles relating to customers, society and competitors, and
  • delivers insights on digital marketing and advertising.

Each section of the course incorporates video examples, structured learning, self-assessments, a virtual coach and valuable case studies to fully understand the principles at the heart of global advertising codes, which are applicable across every industry.

“The ICC Code provides direction for legal and honest marketing communications – qualities that are critical for marketers to build consumer trust and brand loyalty,” said Raelene Martin, policy manager at ICC . “This e-course demonstrates, in practical terms, how the Code’s principles and provisions can be applied in everyday practice when developing marketing campaigns. We are confident that this e-course will be a key resource to help marketers employ today’s and tomorrow’s most innovative techniques to market their products and services.”

Professionals hoping to demonstrate their commitment to the practice of ICC Code on responsible Marketing and Advertising are invited to take the EMA certification exam for a nominal fee.

Click here to learn more about the ICC Academy’s brand-new EMA e-course.

ICC Marketing Commission Looks to Bring Sense to Debate Over Children’s Advertising

ICC Marketing & Advertising Commission members met at Microsoft’s San Francisco offices.

Amid a year-long celebration of the 80th anniversary of the International Chamber of Commerce’s landmark global marketing code (formally known as the ICC Consolidated Code of Advertising and Marketing Communications Practice), ICC members gathered in San Francisco on December 4-5 to discuss emerging challenges to the self-regulatory framework exemplified by the ICC Code.

The ICC Marketing and Advertising Commission, chaired by Brent Sanders, associate general counsel with Microsoft, meets twice annually, and this gathering marked the commission’s first visit to the West Coast in several years. Among the guest speakers was Jurgen Van Staden, privacy and public policy manager at Facebook, who addressed the evolving landscape for advertising self-regulation in a fast-evolving digital landscape and encouraged ICC members to ensure that the ICC Code remains fit for purpose.

Top of mind for many participants were new regulatory threats that may impose overly stringent constraints on the marketing of products to children and teenagers. National and global regulatory bodies are increasingly focused on the topic, and many policy responses seek to address “up-aging” (increasing the upper age limit of childhood), limitations on screen time, and privacy and data security, as well as many other concerns.

According to Jonathan Huneke, USCIB’s vice president for communications and public affairs, who attended the ICC meetings, business representatives are seeking to bridge the significant divergence of regulatory practice between the United States, the European Union and other jurisdictions.

“Not surprisingly, national standards for marketing and advertising can vary widely between countries,” he said. “To take one example, the EU’s soon-to-be-implemented General Data Privacy Regulation imposes an absolute right to privacy that may complicate efforts to comply with the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, where restrictions on the use of data is less restrictive for those aged 13 and over. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential regulatory divergence.

ICC members agreed to develop a toolkit to respond to threatened bans on marketing to children and teens, drawing upon the ICC Code, as well as related ICC guidance on food and beverage marketing, online advertising, and other issues. They will also explore conducting an outreach and educational campaign for policy makers around the world, to raise awareness of self-regulation as an effective means of maintaining high standards of marketing and advertising practice.

Commission members also reviewed proposed changes to the ICC Code in the areas of data-driven and interactive marketing. The next meeting of the ICC Marketing and Advertising Commission will take place in Paris in late June. You can view and download copies of the ICC Code and many other resources on marketing and advertising at ICC’s Codes Centre website.

Read more about USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee here.

2017 USCIB International Leadership Award Dinner

USCIB is delighted to honor Ajay Banga, president and chief executive officer of MasterCard. Each year this gala event attracts several hundred industry leaders, government officials and members of the diplomatic community to celebrate open markets and the recipient of USCIB’s highest honor.

Established in 1980, USCIB’s International Leadership Award is presented to a senior business executive who has made significant policy contributions to world trade and investment, and to improving the global competitive framework in which American business operates. Join us for what will be a truly memorable evening!

USCIB Gears Up for APEC CEO Summit in Vietnam

This week, USCIB’s Vice President of Product Policy and Innovation Mike Michener will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Da Nang, Viet Nam, as a business delegate and representative of the U.S. APEC Business Coalition.

Organized under the leadership of the National Center for APEC (NCAPEC), USCIB will be joining other Coalition and NCAPEC members on the ground, including CEOs and executives from USCIB member companies. NCAPEC serves as the designated 2017 U.S. Strategic Partner for the CEO Summit, Secretariat to the U.S. members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and as Chair and Secretariat of the U.S. APEC Business Coalition.

Throughout 2017, USCIB has addressed a number of issues through APEC to advance discussions across a range of issue. These include chemicals regulation, advertising self-regulation, data privacy, customs, and digital trade. USCIB members and staff have engaged in several APEC working groups, including the Chemical Dialogue, APEC Business-Customs Dialogue, Customs Procedures Virtual Working Group, Alliance for Supply Chain Connectivity, the Electronic Commerce Steering Group and Data Privacy Subgroup.

In Da Nang, Michener will meet with USCIB members, leaders from APEC economies and representatives of intergovernmental organizations to discuss member companies’ APEC priorities and USCIB’s work. They look forward to hearing from USCIB members in Da Nang, in addition to joining with Coalition partners, to advance common objectives.

“USCIB appreciates the numerous committed partnerships that APEC has established with the private sector,” said Michener. “These partnerships are addressing many economic opportunities, particularly on trade and regulatory issues, that will help foster greater economic integration among APEC’s twenty-one member economies.”

The upcoming APEC meetings in Da Nang include, in addition to the CEO Summit, the Concluding Senior Officials’ Meeting, Fourth APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Meeting, APEC Ministerial Meeting and APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. USCIB has collected priority issues from its membership for 2018, and will have the USCIB 2018 APEC Priorities and Recommendations Paper available in Da Nang.

APEC Workshop Looks to Raise Advertising Standards

ICC’s Raelene Martin addressing the advertising standards workshop

USCIB and the International Chamber of Commerce helped organize a well-attended workshop on “APEC Advertising Standards: From Principles to Implementation” at Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings this week in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The workshop served as an important milestone in ongoing APEC discussions, strongly supported by the business community, to advance high standards for marketing and advertising throughout the APEC region. It brought together key government and advertising industry participants from APEC economies to advance the 2014 APEC Action Agenda on Advertising Standards and Practice Development, and to examine how APEC economies can implement these recommendations with key indicators for doing so.

USCIB Vice President Barbara Wanner attended the workshop alongside numerous USCIB member company representatives.

Since the first APEC advertising standards meeting 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 regard 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.”

“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,” said Raelene Martin, ICC’s project manager for marketing and advertising. “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 Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communications Practice, 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, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, 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 recognized 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.

 

Celebrating 80 Years of the ICC Marketing Code

ICC Marketing & Advertising Commission members met in Paris on June 16.

USCIB and others in the International Chamber of Commerce family are celebrating this year’s 80th anniversary of the ICC Consolidated Code of Marketing and Advertising Communication Practice.

Earlier this week, ICC presented the Code during a networking cocktail hosted in partnership with the French Association of the Communications Agencies, at the French Camp Cannes held on the margins of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The event followed the semi-annual meeting of ICC’s Commission on Marketing and Advertising, which took place in Paris on June 16 and was chaired by Brent Sanders, associate general counsel with Microsoft and chair of USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee.

During the celebratory event in Cannes, Ximena Tapias Delporte, vice chair of the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising and president of the Colombian Commission on Advertising Self-Regulation, joined Stéphane Martin, director general of the French self-regulatory organization ARPP and chair of the European Advertising Standards Alliance, to share perspectives on the Code and its broader application at international level as the foundational instrument of advertising self-regulation.

The ICC Code was also presented at the International Advertising Association (IAA) cabana in Cannes, where Carla Michelotti, vice chair of USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee and vice president of the IAA, interviewed Martin on using the Code to ensure best practices in the advertising industry and to build trust with consumers.

“Over the past 80 years, the ICC Code has played a key role in providing principles that help build trust with consumers, assuring them of advertising that is honest, legal, decent and truthful,” Martin said during the interview.

According to USCIB Vice President Jonathan Huneke, at the ICC commission meeting in Paris, members discussed possible revision of the Code in the coming years to more fully reflect changes in technology and advertising practice, and finalized a draft ICC guide on responsible mobile marketing communications. The latter document is expected to be finalized and issued by ICC in the coming weeks.

ICC Statement on Code Interpretation/Reference Guide on Advertising to Children

The Reference Guide on Advertising to Children can be found here. 

ICC Statement on Code Interpretation

The International Chamber of Commerce Consolidated Code of Marketing and Advertising Practice
(ICC Code) sets forth standards for marketing communications, including provisions addressing
special responsibilities for marketing “products” (as defined by the ICC Code, which includes
services)to children and young people. Article 18 of the ICC Code outlines principles for advertising
to children and young people, while Article 19 establishes principles for data collection involving
children. The purpose of this Statement on Code Interpretation is to clarify the age of “children” and
the age of “young people” for purposes of the ICC Code.

The ICC’s approach has been informed by almost 100 years of research on child development, and
recognizes that children, on the one hand, and teens, on the other, require special consideration
based on their differing ability to understand marketing messages. A wealth of data and historical
customs and practices support defining “children” as age 12 and younger (i.e. under 13 years old) for
marketing-related purposes, and this is generally the age the ICC intends when referring to “children”
in the ICC Code. Where the ICC Code refers to “young people,” the ICC generally intends this
phrase to mean teenagers (“teens”) under age 18. Children and teens are typically considered
“minors” and are barred from purchasing, consuming or using particular products intended for adults.

An overarching principle of the ICC Code is that marketing communications must be legal, decent,
honest and truthful, considering how the communication is likely to be interpreted by the primary
target audience. The ICC Code recognizes that some added fair marketing communications
principles should apply to both children and teens, while other specific marketing communications
principles should apply only to children. For example, products that are unsuitable for purchase, use
or consumption by children and teens in the jurisdiction where the marketing communications appear
should not be advertised in media targeted to them, while other provisions of the Code (e.g. the use
of fantasy in advertising) include additional best practices for child-directed marketing
communications. Likewise, children and teens should not be portrayed in advertisements using
products that are not appropriate for them to use.

The ICC recognizes that some local laws may define “children” and “young people” differently.
Marketers of course must respect local laws when it comes to structuring local marketing
communications. The ICC decision to adopt age 12 and younger as the reference age of “children”
for purposes of advertising and privacy provisions of the ICC Code, and to define “young people” as
teens under 18, reflects proven differences in the ability of children versus teens to understand
marketing communications, the very real differences in teens’ interests as compared to children, the
practical impediments to obtaining parental consent where data collection from teens is concerned,
sensitivities about teen privacy rights, and respect for freedom of commercial communications where
the principal audience is adults. Harmonization around this age will help maintain international
consistency, and is consistent with many content ratings and safety laws around the world.

ICC Marketing Commission Takes Action on Several Fronts

On December 5 in New York, USCIB helped host a semi-annual meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Commission on Marketing and Advertising. It was, in the words of one member, among the most productive the commission has held in recent memory, with approval of several key statements on global marketing practices and regulatory challenges.

For eight decades, ICC has played a critical role in developing cross-border standards for marketing and advertising. The Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice is the gold standard for self-regulation of the industry. Since its introduction in 1937, it has served as the foundation and cornerstone for the codes of most self-regulatory systems around the world.

The ICC commission is chaired by Brent Sanders (Microsoft), who also chairs USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee. We will circulate reports on individual initiatives in the days and weeks to come, but here is an overview of the meeting’s major outcomes, as reported by USCIB Vice President Jonathan Huneke:

  • A new ICC Statement of Code Interpretation/Reference Guide on Advertising to Children has been approved by the ICC Executive Board.
  • Members are nearing completion of a new ICC Guide for Responsible Mobile Marketing Communications.
  • Work is beginning on expanded ICC guidelines on online behavioral advertising, to address issues related to mobile such as location data.
  • Members endorsed a draft ICC paper on labelling and packaging measures impacting on brand assets, developed jointly with the ICC Commission on Intellectual Property. Following approval by the ICC Executive Board, the document will be disseminated for advocacy purposes by affected industries in specific countries.
  • The commission is gearing up for a full revision of the Consolidated ICC Code in conjunction with its 80th anniversary (in 2017) as well as ICC’s centennial celebrations in 2019.