Responsible advertising

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Does your business have policies in place to ensure your advertisements are responsible?

EXCELLENT Answers

No EXCELLENT answers have been published for this question.

GOOD Answers

No GOOD answers have been published for this question.

OKAY Answers

No OKAY answers have been published for this question.

POOR Answers

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This Scorecard is due to be updated in 2018

Advertising is the public, usually paid-for announcements used by business to disseminate information to existing and potential customers. It is a single component within a marketing process and involves getting the word out concerning a business, product, or the services on offer. Advertising reaps long-term benefits as it creates, enhances and preserves consumer trust and confidence in business and helps drive the open market. It continues to develop and be refined in response to social, technological and economic changes so that advertising is now on-line as much as it is found in traditional print media or on posters in the street.

There is no general, all-encompassing definition of ‘responsible’ advertising but it should be recognised that advertising may also have negative impacts when it disregards the context in which it is operating, the prevailing standards in a society and/or uses exploitative or manipulative methods to sell products that may cause harm or offence. Advertising is largely self-regulating, with the industry voluntarily establishing rules and paying for its own regulation, but, given the social and cultural sensitivities, most countries also have legislation to control certain aspects.

Guidelines businesses may observe include:
● Ensuring that advertising communications can be easily identified as such
● Tailoring content to the audience and distributing it in a culturally sensitive manner (e.g. age appropriateness, respecting religious sensibilities)
● Presenting clear messages so as not to mislead the public
● Ensuring images of products are not doctored and manipulated in advertisements (e.g. airbrushing)
● Supporting any claims made with substantive, legitimate, objective evidence
● Refraining from making universal claims if significant division of informed, expert or scientific opinion exists
● Avoiding stereotyping, objectification or depicting demographic groups in a negative or dehumanizing way (e.g. gender, age, race, sexual orientation, mental disability, over sexualised images of women)
● Avoiding scheduling or placing advertisements that could threaten or distress (e.g. children, elderly, disabled)
● Being open about digital data collection and use, especially associated with ‘online behavioural advertising’
● Respecting the intellectual property rights of copyright holders registered trademarks.

In the words of the UK Advertising Standards Agency, advertising should be “legal, decent, honest and truthful

Advertisements

'Advertisements' are either broadcast (including programme sponsorship credits on radio and television, television text, interactive television advertisements, content on self-promotional television channels, teleshopping and also on a company’s own website and in other non-paid-for space under its control) or non-broadcast (sales promotions in non-broadcast media and advertorials, posters and other promotional media in public places, including moving images, cinema, video, DVD and Blu-ray).

Advertising

'Advertising' is the action of calling something to the attention of the public, especially by paid announcements.

Online behavioural advertising

'Online behavioural advertising' (also known as interest-based advertising) is a way of making advertisements on websites more relevant to viewers and their particular interests. It is based on data collected from current and previous web browsing activity so advertising can then be made as relevant and useful as possible, known as ‘retargeting’.

Self-regulation

'Self-regulation' means that the industry has voluntarily established and paid for its own regulation. It continues to be developed and refined in response to social, technological and economic changes.

Answering YES

All Businesses MUST

State your business sector

Explain what regulation or rules, if any, affect advertising in this sector

Explain what practices or policies are in place to ensure responsible advertising

All Businesses MAY

Mention any future intentions regarding this issue

Answering NO

All Businesses MUST

State your business sector

Explain why they do not or cannot answer YES to this question, listing the business reasons, any mitigating circumstances or other reasons that apply

All Businesses MAY

Mention any future intentions regarding this issue

Answering NOT APPLICABLE

All Businesses MUST

State your business sector

Confirm that you don’t advertise anything at all

DON'T KNOW is not a permissible answer to this question

Version 1

To receive a score of 'Excellent'

Guidelines for responsible advertising made explicit in key philosophy

Examples of policies and practices which may support an EXCELLENT statement (not all must be observed, enough should be evidenced to give comfort that the statement is the best of the four for the business being scored):

  1. Conscious efforts to create positive impacts on socio-cultural attitudes by educating customers through advertising and/or running cause-related marketing campaigns
  2. Encouraging consumers to act responsibly refraining from using aggressive sales techniques and help them instead to make informed choices
  3. Making data and surveys underlying product claims easily accessible to the public
  4. Ensuring all testimonials are authentic
  5. Identifying and collaborating with appropriate sector-specific NGOs to develop best practices
  6. Marketing team collaborates with other specialists to ensure all claims made are non-offensive and supported by scientific evidence
  7. Encouraging competitors to adopt responsible practices
  8. It had developed responsible marketing guidelines which are strictly followed by all marketing communications and are updated regularly in response to social, technological and economic changes
  9. In the case where online behavioural advertising is used, allowing customers to control whether they want to receive targeting advertising or not
To receive a score of 'Good'

Clear policies in place to monitor advertising practices

Examples of policies and practices which may support a GOOD statement (not all must be observed, enough should be evidenced to give comfort that the statement is the best of the four for the business being scored):

  1. Ensures allegations made in adverts are honest and representative of the product/service
  2. Advertising campaign fully respects human rights and adheres to codes of practice
  3. Advertising practices are such that inform and empower the consumers
  4. In the case where online behavioural advertising is used, the business is transparent about data collection and use
To receive a score of 'Okay'

Few/ad hoc practices followed

Examples of policies and practices which may support an OKAY statement (not all must be observed, enough should be evidenced to give comfort that the statement is the best of the four for the business being scored):

  1. Company size too small to seriously consider this aspect
  2. Nature of company requires only B2B marketing
  3. Acknowledges the social responsibility of advertising and measures are underway
  4. Attempts to ensure product information as shown on advertisement is honest and accurate
To receive a score of 'Poor'

No consideration given to nature of advertisements

Examples of policies and practices which may support a POOR statement (not all must be observed, enough should be evidenced to give comfort that the statement is the best of the four for the business being scored):

  1. No good practices or policies followed for monitoring advertisement content, target audiences, time slots etc.
  2. No/poor efforts to adhere to standards and regulations
  3. Inappropriate adverts not attended to due to no formal legal problems