Code of Marketing Communication Self-Regulation Italy
67th edition effective March 10th, 2020
First edition dated May 12th, 1966
Art. 1 – Fairness in marketing communication
Marketing communication must be honest, truthful and correct. It must avoid anything likely to discredit it.
Art. 2 – Misleading marketing communication
Marketing communication must avoid statements or representations that could mislead consumers, including omissions, ambiguity or exaggeration that are not obviously hyperbolical, particularly regarding the characteristics and effects of the product, prices, free offers, conditions of sale, distribution, the identity of persons depicted, prizes or awards.
In assessing whether or not a marketing communication is misleading, the benchmark is the reasonable consumer belonging to the relevant target group.
Art. 3 – Terminology, quotations, technical and scientific tests, statistical data
Terms, quotations and references to scientific and technical tests must be used appropriately. Technical and scientific tests and statistical data with limited validity must not be presented in such a way as to make them appear generally valid.
Art. 4 – Testimonials
Testimonials and other forms of recommendation of a product, with a promotional intention, should be distinguishable as such as well as authentic and responsible.
Art. 5 – Guarantees and warranties
Mandatory guarantees cannot be communicated in such a way as to convey the belief that they offer rights greater or different to those provided by law, when they do not.
Should guarantees or warranties be communicated that are greater or different to those that are mandatory, such marketing communication must specify the contents and conditions of the guarantee or warranty offered, or alternatively provide a brief but comprehensive description thereof together with reference to the written sources of information available at the point of sale or supplied with the product.
Art. 6 – Substantiation
The contents of marketing communication must be capable of substantiation; such substantiation should be available to the Jury or Review Board to prove the truthfulness of the data, descriptions, statements, illustrations used and the consistency of any testimonies.
Art. 7 – Identification
Marketing communication must be clearly distinguishable as such. In the media and in marketing communication where news and other editorial matter are presented to the public, the marketing communication must be clearly distinguishable through the adoption of appropriate measures.
With reference to certain forms of marketing communication on the Internet, the most important and suitable measures are indicated in the Digital Chart Regulations.
Art. 8 – Superstition, credulity, fear
Marketing communication should not play on superstition, credulity or, except in justifiable cases, fear.
Art. 9 – Violence, vulgarity, indecency
Marketing communication should not contain statements, audio or visual treatments depicting physical or moral violence or, that may be considered indecent, vulgar or repugnant to prevailing standards.
Art. 10 – Moral, Civil, and Religious Beliefs and Human Dignity
Marketing communication should not offend moral, civil and religious beliefs. Marketing communication should respect human dignity in every form and expression and should avoid any form of discrimination, including that of gender.
Art. 11 – Children and young people
Special care should be taken in messages directed to children, i.e. less than 12 years of age, and young people or to which they may be exposed. Such messages should avoid material that could cause psychological, moral or physical harm, and should not exploit the credulity, inexperience or sense of loyalty of children or young people.
In particular, such marketing communication must not suggest:
- violating generally accepted rules of social behaviour;
- acting dangerously or seeking exposure to dangerous situations;
- that failure to posses the promoted product means either their own inferiority or their parents’ failure to fulfil their duties;
- that the role of parents and educators is inadequate in supplying healthy nutritional advice;
- adopting poor eating habits or neglecting the need for a healthy lifestyle.
Marketing communication must not include a direct exhortation to children to buy the promoted product or to persuade other people to purchase it.
The portrayal of children and young people in marketing communication must avoid playing on the natural sentiments of adults towards the young.
Visual depictions of children, or persons resembling children, engaged in or seeming to engage in sexually explicit conduct are forbidden.
Art. 12 – Protection of the natural environment
Advertising claiming or suggesting environmental or ecological benefits must be based on truthful, pertinent and scientifically verifiable evidence.
Such advertising must ensure a clear understanding of which aspect of the product or activity the claimed benefits refer to.
Art. 12bis –Safety
Marketing communication involving products that may potentially endanger health, safety or the environment, especially when such dangers are not immediately recognisable, should indicate such dangers clearly.
In any case marketing communication should not contain descriptions or representations that may lead consumers to be less cautious than usual or less watchful and responsible towards their own health and safety, including body images inspired by aesthetic models clearly associated with eating disorders that are harmful to health.
Art. 13 – Imitation, Confusion and Exploitation
Marketing communication should not copy or slavishly imitate that of others even if it concerns non-competitive products, especially if there is the risk of generating confusion with the marketing communication of others.
Moreover, any exploitation of the name, trademark, notoriety and corporate image of other marketers should be avoided, if it is intended to generate an undue advantage.
Art. 14 – Denigration
Marketing communication should not denigrate the activities, companies or products of others, even if not specifically named.
Art. 15 – Comparative advertising
Comparative advertising is permitted when it helps to explain the technical or financial features and benefits of promoted products and services, objectively comparing the relevant basic, technically verifiable and representative features of competitive goods and services, that meet the same needs or are intended for the same purpose.
Comparisons should be fair and not be misleading, nor generate the risk of confusion, or discredit or denigrate others. Comparisons should not draw unfair advantage from the notoriety of others.
Art. 16 – Variability
Marketing communication which is acceptable for one medium or product may not necessarily be acceptable for another, due to the different characteristics of the various media and products.
In the cases referred to in articles 17, 18, 21, 27, 28 and 46 below, messages that are limited to general statements are permitted to omit all the relevant necessary information.
Compliance of a marketing communication with the provisions of the Code does not rule out the right of the media to decide, based on their contractual autonomy, to reject it on the grounds that it breaches stricter criteria they may have put in place.
A) Sales systems
Art. 17 – Sale by instalment
Marketing communication concerning sales by instalment should clearly specify the amount of any deposit or payment on account and of all subsequent payments, the interest rate and ancillary charges, and the total price of the product. It should also specify the terms under which financing is granted, conditions of ownership and property, and leasing or rental with redemption rights.
Art. 18 – Distance selling
Marketing communication relating to distance selling should clearly provide a description of the products offered for sale, the price, payment terms, delivery/handling charges and all other charges payable by the consumer, conditions of supply and, if applicable, cancellation or return clauses must also be indicated, as well as the existence and procedures for withdrawal from the sale.
The name, address, registered offices and geographical location of the marketer should also be specified.
Art. 19 – Unsolicited supply of goods
Any marketing communication associated with the practice of sending unsolicited products to consumers, suggesting that recipients are obliged to pay for goods unless they are refused or returned to the supplier, shall be forbidden.
Art. 20 – Special sales
Marketing communication relating to special sales of any kind, in particular promotional sales, should clearly specify the additional benefit deriving from the purchase, as well as the duration of the offer. The duration of the offer does not need to appear on the packaging.
Art. 21 – Prize promotions
Marketing communication relating to prize promotions involving competitions or premium operations, should provide consumers with clear and simple information on eligibility to participate, closing dates and prizes; for competitions the information should include the number and total value of prizes, the procedure for awarding prizes and the media to be used for publicising the results.
B) Product categories
Art. 22 – Alcoholic Beverages
Marketing communication concerning alcoholic beverages should not be in contrast with the obligation to depict styles of drinking behaviour that project moderation, wholesomeness and responsibility. This principle aims to safeguard the primary interest of the population in general, and of children and young people in particular, in a family, social and working environment safeguarded from the negative consequences of alcohol abuse.
In particular, marketing communications must not:
- encourage excessive, uncontrolled, and hence harmful consumption of alcoholic beverages;
- depict an unhealthy attachment or addiction to alcohol, or generally lead people to believe that resorting to alcohol can solve personal problems;
- target or refer to minors, even only indirectly, or depict minors or people who clearly appear to be minors, consuming alcohol;
- make direct use signs, symbols, drawings, fictitious characters or real people of primary appeal to minors, that may arouse the direct interest of minors;
- associate the consumption of alcoholic beverages with the driving of motorised vehicles;
- induce the public to believe that the consumption of alcoholic beverages promotes clear thinking and enhances physical and sexual performance, or that the failure to consume alcohol implies physical, mental or social inferiority;
- depict sobriety and abstemiousness as negative values;
- induce the public to disregard different drinking styles associated with the specific features of individual beverages and the personal conditions of consumers;
- stress high alcoholic strength as being the principal feature of a beverage.
Art. 23 – Cosmetics and Personal Hygiene Products
Marketing communication relating to cosmetics and personal hygiene products should not encourage the belief that such products have characteristics, properties or functions other than to be applied to the external parts of the human body, mouth or teeth for the exclusive or primary purpose of cleaning, freshening, changing their appearance or protecting them, in order to keep them in good condition or correcting body odours.
Such marketing communication, therefore, may present these products as having additional features preventing particular pathological conditions, provided they actually contain specific ingredients or formulations with such effects; under no circumstances, however, should consumers be led to consider cosmetic or personal hygiene products as substitutes for medication, medical aids, medical devices or therapeutic treatments.
Art. 23 bis – Food supplements and health foods
Marketing communication relating to food supplements andhealth foods should not claim to have properties that do not correspond to the actual characteristics of the products, or that the products do not actually possess.
Furthermore, such marketing communication should not encourage consumers to make nutritional errors and should avoid referring recommendations or statements of a medical nature.
These rules also apply to infant formula and baby foods, products designed to wholly or partially substitute mother’s milk, products used for weaning and food supplements for children.
In particular, as regards marketing communication relating to food supplements for weight loss or control and other specific supplements, the provisions contained in the relevant Regulations, which form an integral part of this code, shall apply.
Art. 24 – Physical and Aesthetic Treatments
Marketing communication relating to physical and aesthetic treatment should not encourage the belief that such treatments have therapeutic or restorative functions, or can achieve radical results; reference to recommendations or statements of a medical nature must be avoided.
Art. 25 – Medicinal Products and Curative Treatments
Marketing communication relating to medicinal products and curative treatments should consider the sensitivity of the matter and display the utmost sense of responsibility; it must also accurately reflect the details contained in the fact sheet summarising the product specifications.
Such marketing communication should draw the consumer’s attention to the need for caution in using the product, explicitly and clearly encouraging consumers to read the package warnings and advising against the improper use of the product.
In particular, marketing communication relating to over- the-counter products should include the name of the medicinal product as well as the common name of the active ingredient; this latter information is not compulsory if the medicinal product contains more than one active ingredient or the communication is intended solely as a generic reminder of the product’s name.
Moreover, marketing communication relating to over-the- counter medicinal products and curative treatments should not:
- suggest that the efficacy of the medicine is devoid of side effects or that its safety or efficacy profiles are due to the fact that it is a natural substance;
- claim that the efficacy of the medicine or treatment is equal to or better than others;
- suggest that a medical consultation or surgical procedure is unnecessary or lead consumers to make an incorrect self-diagnosis;
- exclusively or principally address children or lead minors to use the product without appropriate adult supervision;
- make use of recommendations by scientists, health professionals or persons well-known to the public, or refer to the fact that the medicinal product has been approved for sale, or improperly or misleadingly report certificates of recovery;
- compare the medicinal product with a foodstuff, cosmetic or other consumer product;
- suggest that the medicinal or the curative treatment can improve normal good health, or that avoiding a certain product or treatment can be harmful, unless the message refers to vaccination campaigns;
- use improper, misleading or frightening depictions of changes in the human body caused by disease or injury, or due to the effects of the medicinal product.
As regards marketing communication relating, in particular, to veterinary medicines, the rules contained in the relevant Regulations shall apply, and form an integral part of this Code.
Art. 26 – Instruction Courses and Study or Teaching Methods
Marketing communication relating to instruction courses and study or teaching methods should not contain any promise of work or exaggerate employment or salary opportunities for those persons who follow such courses or adopt the proposed methods, nor should it offer degrees or qualifications which are not recognised or not obtainable by such methods.
Art. 27 – Financial and real estate transactions
Marketing communication aimed at soliciting or promoting financial transactions and in particular transactions for savings and investments in securities or real estate property should supply clear and comprehensive information to avoid misleading consumers regarding the promoter, the nature of the proposal, the quantity and characteristics of the goods or services being offered, the terms of the transaction, and the relevant risks, to ensure that the recipients of the message, even if inexperienced in this field, can make informed choices about the use of their resources.
In particular, such communication should:
- avoid, when referring to yearly interest rates, using terms such as “income” and “return”, to indicate the sum total of unearned income plus increases in property values;
- refrain from suggesting that consumers make commitments and pay deposits without appropriate guarantees;
- not project future performance on the basis of past performance, or communicate returns based on calculations over periods that are not sufficiently representative with reference to the particular nature of the investment and to the fluctuations in results.
Marketing communication relating to real estate transactions should be set out in such a way as to avoid deception by passing financial investments off for real estate investments or by focussing on the financials of a real estate property without making it clear that the investment actually involves securities.
The provisions of this article apply also to marketing communication relating to banking services always, and to insurance services when it is necessary to emphasise the investment aspect.
Art. 28 – Package Tours
Marketing communication of any kind relating to package tours should provide comprehensive and accurate information, particularly regarding the services included in the minimum price for participation. The communication should strongly suggest that consumers carefully consider the terms and conditions of participation, payment and cancellation as indicated in the brochure or registration form.
Art. 28 bis – Games, Toys and Educational Products for Children
Marketing communication relating to games, toys and educational products for children should not be misleading as to:
- the nature, performance and dimensions of the promoted product;
- the degree of skill required to use the product;
- the total expenditure, especially when the operation of the product requires the purchase of accessory products.
In any case, this type of marketing communication should not play down price of the product or imply that its purchase is generally compatible with all family budgets.
Art. 29 – Composition of the Jury
The Jury is composed of members appointed by the Istituto dell’Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria, and chosen from among experts in law, consumer affairs and communication.
The members of the Jury remain in office for a two-year term and can be reconfirmed.
The Institute chooses the President and Vice-Presidents, who stand in for the President in his absence, from among the members of the Jury.
The members of the Jury cannot be chosen from among experts who practice their professional activities in the area of marketing communication self-regulation.
Art. 30 – Composition of the Review Board
The Review Board, aimed to protect the general interests of consumers, is composed of members appointed by the Institute, and chosen from among experts in legal affairs, advertising, consumer affairs and media.
The members of the Review Board remain in office for a two-year term and can be reconfirmed.
The Institute chooses the President and Vice Presidents from among the members of the Review Board.
The Board can be divided into smaller groups of at least three members, and such sub-groups are chaired by the President or a Vice President.
The members of the Review Board cannot be chosen from among experts who practice their professional activities in the area of marketing communication self-regulation.
Art. 31 – Principles of Judgment
The members of the Jury and the Review Board perform their duties according to their convictions and not in the interests of classes of subscribers to the Code. In the execution of their task the members of the Jury and the Board are expected to observe the utmost discretion.
Art. 32 – Function of the Jury and of the Review Board
The Jury examines the marketing communication submitted to it and judges it according to the provisions of this Code.
The Review Board:
- autonomously submits to the Jury any marketing communications that have been reported to it or that it believes to be non-compliant with the provisions of the Code safeguarding consumer interests or marketing communication in general;
- provides non binding opinion on request of the President of the Jury;
- may request amendments to any planned marketing communication that appears to breach the provisions of the Code;
- can issue desist orders, pursuant to art. 39;
- can provide a copy advice, on the request of interested parties, under the provisions contained in the relevant Regulation, as to whether the final but not yet publicised marketing communication submitted to it actually complies with the provisions of the Code safeguarding consumer interests. The Board’s opinion is expressed subject to the validity and completeness of the data and information supplied by the applicant. Under such conditions, the Board undertakes to refrain from intervening ex-officio against approved marketing communications. Parties to whom a copy advice has been issued shall not exploit the said opinion for commercial purposes;
- may perform any other function assigned by the Board of Directos and communicated on the Institute’s website.
The Jury and Review Board can, at any time, ask the marketer to supply documentation in support of the truthfulness of the data, descriptions, statements, illustrations or testimonials used. The Jury and Review Board may avail themselves of experts to evaluate the documentation thus produced. Except for the provisions set out in this Code, the Jury and Review Board perform their duties without formalities.
Art. 32 bis – Expert witnesses
A list of expert witnesses shall be chosen from among acknowledged authorities on specific matters and appointed by the Istituto dell’Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria to support the Jury.
Art. 33 – Secretariat
The Secretariat of the Institute also carries out secretarial duties for the Jury and Review Board. The Secretariat certifies the existence of cases pending before the Jury and, on request of interested parties, issues written statements to this effect.
Art. 34 – Location and meetings
The Jury, the Review Board and the Secretariat are all located in the offices of the Institute. The Jury and the Review Board and its sub-groups meet whenever required. The meetings are convened by their respective Presidents with at least three days’ advance notice. Such notice may be shortened in the event of emergency situations. The meetings of the Jury and the Review Board are not open to the public. The Jury is validly constituted with the presence of at least three members; the Review Board, in plenary session, with at least five members. In the absence of the President and the Vice-Presidents, the meeting is chaired by the most senior member. The Jury and the Review Board, the latter when a plenary session is sitting, make their decisions based on the majority vote of the members present. In the event of a tied vote, the President of the meeting casts the deciding vote. Decisions by sub-groups of the Review Board must be taken unanimously; if unanimity is not possible, decisions are delegated to a plenary session of the Board.
Sub-groups of the Review Board are validly constituted with the presence of at least three members.
The meetings of the Jury and the Review Board are supported by a member of the Secretariat who is sworn to secrecy and must leave the meeting while the Jury is deliberating.
Art. 35 – Administration
The administrative procedures to be adopted concerning petitions to the Jury and services provided by the Institute are decided by the Board of Directors.
Art. 36 – Petitions to the Jury and complaints to the Review Board
Anyone who believes he or she has suffered prejudice from marketing communication activities contrary to the Code may request the intervention of the Jury against those who, having accepted the Code in one of the forms set out in the preliminary and general rules, have undertaken activities alleged to have caused damage to the petitioner.
Petitioners should submit a written request containing a description of the marketing communication which is being submitted to the Jury, the reasons for the petition, supporting documentation and the relevant administrative charges.
Individual consumers and consumer rights associations may submit complaints free of charge to the Review Board regarding marketing communication allegedly breaching the rules of the Code that safeguard the general interests of the public.
Art. 37 – Proceedings Before the Jury
Upon receipt of a petition, the President of the Jury appoints a referee from among the members of the Jury, and if the case demands it, an expert witness pursuant to section 32/bis with specific expertise on the matter at hand. The President arranges for copies of the petition to be sent to the parties, assigning them a deadline of between eight and twelve clear working days for filing their comments and possible documents, and convenes the parties before the Jury at the earliest for a verbal discussion of the dispute.
Where the disputed marketing communication consists in a direct comparison or concerns a promotion lasting thirty days or less, the petitioner may ask for the resisting party to be required to file comments and documents within eight clear working days, and for the hearing before the Jury to take place, barring special circumstances, within no more than ten clear working days of filing the petition.
Along with the expert witness, when appointed, a representative of the Review Board also participates in the discussion, and before the reply from the parties, expresses their position in light of the regulations embedded in the Code to safeguard the consumer. The parties may address the expert witness to clarify specific scientific aspects of the dispute or to ask the expert witness – before the reply from the parties – to define the criteria deemed by the latter to accurately frame these aspects.
The petitioner may request that if an expert witness is appointed, the Jury devote an entire meeting to the discussion hearing, with all additional charges payable by the petitioner.
The hearing cannot be postponed except under extraordinary circumstances or if all parties are in agreement.
In proceedings at the request of the parties the Review Board communicates its conclusions in written form prior to the discussion hearing. These conclusions may be justifiably amended based on the outcome of the discussion.
Once discussions have ended, the Jury:
- issues its decision, if it considers the case sufficiently debated;
- If it decides additional evidence is required, refers all available material to the referee who, immediately and without procedural formalities, arranges for further evidence and documentation to be supplied; the referee then returns all materials to the Jury for the resumption of the case;
- in the event that new evidence emerges during the proceedings that may constitute a violation of the Code not covered by the petition, the Jury acknowledges, notifies and rules ex-officio on said facts unless further investigation is ordered.
At any time during the proceedings the Jury may ask, without procedural formalities, for the opinion of the Review Board on any matter.
Both parties may be assisted or represented by their lawyers or consultants before the Jury.
Art. 38 – Decision of the Jury
Once the discussion has ended, the Jury withdraws to the Board room and, under exceptional circumstances, in order to clarify any remaining doubts, may invite the expert witness, if appointed, to participate without voting rights.
If the Jury deems that the technical material it has acquired is insufficient to make a ruling, it calls in an officially appointed expert witness (Consulenza Tecnica d’Ufficio), asks the question and sets a deadline for filing the report. During the deliberations of the officially appointed expert witness, the adversary principle of hearing both sides is imposed and the right to defence is ensured.
The Jury announces its decision and immediately communicates its findings to the parties involved. If the decision establishes that the marketing communication does not comply with the provisions of the self-regulatory code, the Jury orders the offending parties to refrain from using it within the term set forth in the relevant Regulations.
In the summary of the decision, information on the censured aspects of the communication can be provided, if necessary.
At the earliest possible opportunity the Jury files its verdict with the Secretariat which than sends copies to the parties and to any other interested organisations.
The Jury’s decisions are final.
Art. 39 – Desist Order
Should any marketing communication submitted for examination appear to clearly violate one or more articles of the self-regulatory code, the President of the Review Board may order the marketer to desist from publishing it.
The desist order, with a summary of the grounds justifying the ruling, is communicated to the parties by the
Secretariat, with advice that each party has up to seven days to challenge the decision with the Review Board.
If the President of the Review Board verifies that no challenge has been filed, the deadline has passed and no grounds for challenging have been offered up, the order becomes final. The Secretariat certifies the enforceability of the ruling which is then communicated to the parties concerned for compliance within the terms set forth in the relevant Regulations.
Should the ruling be opposed with grounds and within the deadline, the desist order is regarded as pending. The President of the Review Board, having considered the facts and reasons put forward by the challenging parties, may decide, after listening to the Board’s opinion, that the desist order should be withdrawn and the case dismissed, with the parties being advised accordingly.
Conversely, should the Review Board consider the reasons for opposition to be unconvincing, the case is handed over to the President of the Jury together with the relevant grounds. Should the President of the Jury also deem the reasons for opposition to be unconvincing, the case is sent back to the President of the Review Board who takes the steps described in para. 3 above. On the other hand, if the President of the Jury believes that the Jury should decide, the parties are called to appear before the Jury for discussions at the earliest possible opportunity but no later than the time frame envisaged for standard procedures; in such cases the desist order is revoked.
Art. 40 – Publication of the Decisions
Decisions are published by the Secretariat, posted on the website and filed in the database of the Istituto dell’Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria with the names of the parties concerned.
The Jury may order that individual decisions be disclosed to the public, in summary, including the names of the parties, in the manner and through whichever media channels are deemed appropriate, by the Institute, at the expense of the losing advertising party which shall immediately cover all charges. Should the losing party fail to fulfil this requirement, the winning party – upon IAP’s request, shall pay all outstanding amounts with right of recourse.
The excerpt is drafted by the referee and signed by the President.
The parties cannot use the decision for marketing purposes.
Art. 41 – Binding nature of Jury decisions
The media through which marketing communication is disseminated which directly or through their trade associations accept the self-regulatory code, even if not involved in the proceedings before the Jury, are obliged to observe its decisions.
Art. 42 – Non-Observance of Decisions
Should the party bound to comply with the decisions of the Jury or the Review Board fail to do so within the time frame set out in the Regulations, the Jury or its President reiterate the order to discontinue the offending marketing communication and order notice of such non-compliance to be made public, in summary, including the names of the parties, in the manner and through whichever media channels are deemed appropriate, by the Institute, at the expense of the losing party which shall immediately cover all charges. Should the losing party fail to fulfil this requirement, the winning party – upon IAP’s request, shall pay all outstanding amounts with right of recourse.
To this end, interested parties may present a petition to the President of the Jury. If the non-compliance is not obvious, the President may decide that the situation should be dealt with by standard procedure. Alternatively, the President issues a ruling and brief explanation confirming the non-compliance and, as per the first paragraph above,
advising the parties of their right to file a substantiated objection within a maximum of five working days, pending which the measure is suspended.
In the event of failure to file a challenge within the official deadline, or of presentation of a manifestly ungrounded objection, the ruling becomes enforceable and is communicated to all parties.
Alternatively, the President of the Jury may revoke the ruling and call the parties to appear before the Jury to discuss the dispute at the earliest possible opportunity but no later than the time frame envisaged for standard procedures. If the Jury confirms the non-compliance, it takes the steps described in the first paragraph above.
Marketers planning to hire an advertising agency or professional consultant to join them on one or more creative projects to participate in a tender, or in a joint or individual consultancy, should refrain from using or imitating any creative or inventive aspects of the project(s) that are rejected or not selected, for three years as of the filing date of such material with the Secretariat of the Istituto dell’Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria, such material being filed in a sealed envelope by the advertising agency or professional consultant concerned, complying with the Regulation.
In order to protect the creative elements of a marketing communication, isolated messages released in anticipation of and to safeguard a future communication campaign must be filed and published in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Istituto dell’Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria. The filings in force are published on IAP website.
The protection is granted for a period of twelve months starting as of the date of filing and can be extended for an additional period of 12 months upon request to be filled before the expiration of the first 12 months’ period of protection.
Marketers wishing to protect marketing communication carried out abroad from the threat of imitation in Italy, may file copies of such communication with the Secretariat of the Istituto dell’Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria, as per the Institute’s regulations.
The filing confers priority rights valid for a period of five years as of the date of filing.
Art. 46 – Appeals to the public
The rules of this Code apply to any message aimed at raising the awareness of the public as to issues of social relevance, whether specific or general, or which directly or indirectly solicits donations of any kind for the purpose of achieving objectives of a social nature.
Such messages should clearly identify both the author and the beneficiary of the appeal, and specify the social objective being sought.
The promoters of such messages may freely express their opinions on the issue at hand, but there must be a clear indication that the opinions being expressed are those of the promoters, and are not based on fact.
In any case such messages should not:
- unduly exploit human suffering by offending human dignity, or use shock tactics that might generate unwarranted panic, fear, or distress;
- generate feelings of guilt or responsibility upon persons who decide not to support the appeal;
- exaggerate the degree or nature of the social issue which the appeal is targeting;
- overestimate the specific or potential value of contributions to the initiative;
- solicit donations from minors.
The above provisions also apply to marketing communication featuring references to social causes.
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