In June 2004, EASA brought together more than 130 representatives from all sectors of the advertising industry for a Self-Regulatory Summit. In the presence of representatives of the European Commission a Self-Regulatory Charter was signed. This Charter, building on the EASA Statement of Common Principles and Operating Standards of Best Practice and EASA’s Best Practice Self-Regulatory Model commits the advertising industry to increased moral and financial support for self-regulatory systems across Europe. It concentrates on the need for strict codes to reflect developments in the marketplace and society in general.
The aim behind these best practice commitments is to create an advertising self-regulatory network that is transparent, efficient, independent and well-funded.
Original charter commitments
The ten commitments set out in the Charter are the following:
- Comprehensive coverage by self-regulatory systems of all forms of advertising and all practitioners
- Adequate and sustained funding by the advertising industry proportionate to advertising expenditure in each country
- Comprehensive and effective codes of advertising practice based on the globally accepted codes of marketing and advertising practice of the
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) applicable to all forms of advertising
- Broad consultation with interested parties during code development.
- Due consideration of the involvement of independent, non-governmental lay persons in the complaint adjudication process.
- Efficient and resourced administration of codes and handling of complaints thereon in an independent and impartial manner by a self-regulatory body set up for the purpose
- Prompt and efficient complaint handling at no cost to the consumer
- Provision of advice and training to industry practitioners in order to raise standards
- Effective sanctions and enforcement, including the publication of decisions, combined with efficient compliance work and monitoring of codes
- Effective awareness of the self-regulatory system by industry and consumers
Following the signing of the Charter, EASA launched the “Get-Fit Programme”, which aimed at improving existing self-regulatory systems through the introduction of best practice and by setting up new systems in new EU member and candidate states. In 2005, EASA presented these commitments in a white paper to the European Commission with a pledge to report back on the validation process by the end of 2007. The validation report showed that although not all commitment targets were reached, great progress was made and continues to be made.
The EASA Charter and the subsequent Charter Validation Process were a kick start which encouraged and continues to encourage best practice implementation. Although EASA has no formal commitment to further report on the Charter Validation process it continues to dedicate substantial resources to encourage further best practice adoption and to periodically update all stakeholders.
Additional charter commitments
In 2009, ten additional commitments were put forward to give further impetus to the process.
Latest update report
The 2011 update report, which was published in September 2011, shows that although some progress can still be made by launching self-regulatory bodies in the remaining five EU Member states and on particular features such as own-initiative monitoring, the exercise has shown itself to be extremely successful in dynamising best practice across the EU. It has contributed towards a more efficient network of self-regulatory bodies providing useful services to both the general public and the advertising industry.
EASA Charter [Pdf, 132Kb]
EASA Statement of Common Principles and Operating Standards of Best Practice [Pdf, 456Kb]
EASA's Best Practice Self-regulatory Model [Pdf, 456KB]
White Paper submitted to the European Institutions in 2005 [Pdf, 444Kb]
Charter Validation Executive Summary submitted to the European Institutions in 2007 [Pdf, 601Kb]
2009 update report - Charter Validation Executive Summary [Pdf, 530Kb]
Additional ten Charter Commitments [Pdf, 34Kb]
2011 update report on best practice implementation by European advertising watchdogs [Pdf, 639Kb]