27 April 2016

Native Advertising Recommendations

The Belgian self-regulatory advertising authority Jury on Ethical Practices in Advertising (“JEP”) published its Recommendation on Native Advertising on 27 April 2016.

The subject matter is advertising, in whatever form, medium or format, harmonized and imbedded in a classic editorial content of a publisher. Besides adhering to the existing self-regulatory rules, the following is recommended:

Rule 1: Native advertising should disclose / identify its advertising nature. As foreseen in Article 9 of the ICC-Code, marketing communication has to be clearly recognizable as such, regardless of the form and the medium used. When the ad appears in medium which also contains news or editorial content, it has to be presented as advertising in a directly recognizable manner and the advertiser has to be disclosed. The advertising communication should not disguise its true commercial purpose. The promotion communication of a product cannot be presented as a market- or consumer review, information from users, a private blog or an independent evaluation.

Rule 2: The identity of the advertiser should be made known, as foreseen in Article 10 of the ICCC-Code.

Rule 3: special attention is needed in case native advertising is directed to children or minors of age of when those appear in advertising. Commercial communication should not exploit their lack of experience or credulity, particularly as regards the identification of the advertising.

Rule 4: Special attention should be given to the truthfulness and honesty of the content of these commercial communications.
In case of doubt about the lawfulness and/or the ethical nature of a campaign, the advertiser, its agency or the media concerned are strongly suggested to request a preliminary/prior advice.

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