EASA launches an awareness campaign
12 May 2022
As part of its 30th anniversary, EASA has launched an awareness campaign in Brussels to draw attention to the work advertising self-regulatory organisations (ad standards bodies) do, helping to protect consumers from irresponsible advertising for decades.
The principle of responsible advertising which requires that all marketing communications are legal, decent, honest and truthful dates back to over 85 years ago. With the advent and proliferation of green claims and concepts such as “eco-friendly,” “green,” “sustainable,” and “carbon-neutral”, there is an acute necessity to strike the right balance between the need to be able to promote products and services which have a more positive impact on the environment and the need to stay clear from any claims which are misleading or not properly substantiated and undermine trust in advertising. This is why self-regulatory codes, at the global level or at the national level, have dedicated provisions addressing green claims to help marketers advertise their products responsibly. These principles are enshrined in national advertising self-regulatory codes, which are independently enforced by self-regulatory bodies across Europe. Advertising self-regulation works hand in hand with legislation to ensure a high level of consumer protection.
One of the key principles of responsible advertising, which are over 85 years old, is identification and transparency. The principle requires that marketing communications should be clearly distinguishable as such, whatever their form and whatever the medium used, and that the true commercial purpose of marketing communications should be transparent and not misrepresent their true commercial purpose. In light of the rapid growth of online advertising, it was necessary to establish further guidelines on how to apply these principles to new marketing communications, such as influencer marketing.
This is why, since 2018, and following in the footsteps of its leading members, EASA has established a Best Practice Recommendation on Influencer Marketing. Influencers are often unaware of their responsibilities when they collaborate with brands and advertise products on social media. Therefore, self-regulatory organisations across Europe do more than independently enforce provisions on identification and transparency. They have also taken initiatives to raise awareness of ethical rules among the influencer community, and are now using A.I./data-driven tools to monitor posts at scale. Ultimately, these actions contribute to ensuring a high level of consumer protection.
The most important factor for marketers is trust, which is inextricably linked with brand reputation. Trust takes time to gain and can be lost in a second, therefore, it is a rare commodity. Responsible advertisers are fully aware that long-standing trust cannot be fostered if advertising is misleading and untruthful. Responsible advertising principles, which date back over 85 years, demand that all marketing communications are legal, decent, honest, and truthful.
These principles are enshrined in national advertising self-regulatory codes that are independently enforced by self-regulatory bodies across Europe. Advertising self-regulation works hand in hand with laws to provide consumers with a high level of protection.