ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code

What’s new in the ICC Marketing Code?

This 10th revision ensures that the ICC Marketing Code is maintained as the global reference point for marketing self-regulation, fit for the digital world.

Key changes to the ICC Marketing Code include:

  • Enhanced guidance on distinguishing marketing communications content from true editorial and user-generated content.
  • Clarified rules on advertising to children and teens including new, sharp definitions
  • 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
  • Expanded coverage of the rules to include emerging mediums and participants, such as social media, artificial intelligence-enabled marketing, market influencers, bloggers, vloggers, affiliate networks, data analytics and ad tech companies

ICC’s Advertising and Marketing Communications Code – or the ICC Marketing Code – is a globally-applicable self-regulatory framework, developed by experts from all industry sectors worldwide. Since 1937, it has served as the cornerstone for most self-regulatory systems around the world, from the French ARPP Code to China’s Responsible Marketing Code. The Code is the backbone of the global advertising and marketing industry.

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. The Marketing Code sets high standards for a full range of marketing activities, including digital marketing

A range of actors rely on the ICC Marketing Code
  1. Marketers: Building consumer trust by maintaining high ethical standards.
  2. Advertising agencies: Helping professionals understand globally applicable road signs for developing ethical campaigns.
  3. Regulators: Providing a solid, cost-effective and flexible starting point for safeguarding consumers.
  4. Academic community: Granting students a firm foundation in ethical decision-making in today’s marketing and advertising environment.

ICC’s Marketing Code provides a solid, cost-effective and flexible starting point for considering ethical marketing standards that can be adapted to local needs.