The Code of Advertising Practice (hereinafter referred to as “The Code”), developed by RAC, represents a set of ethical rules to be observed by all those involved in advertising and in any form of commercial communication, in order to provide a proper, honest and decent communication observing the law and the practice principles in advertising and commercial communication drafted by the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”), internationally recognized both in form as in content.
The Romanian Advertising Council (RAC) is an advertising self-regulatory entity, established for the purpose of self-regulation and development of advertising activities in Romania, which would ensure a fair competition, the consumer’s protection and the general public interest against the potential negative consequences of advertising, in virtue of art. 21 of Law no. 148/2000 regarding advertising.
The RAC members accept the Code, meaning that they observe the self-regulatory ethical rules imposed by the Code and do not accept any commercial communication which violates its provisions and, at the same time, they agree to stop or modify a commercial communication if the Ethics Committee decides that the respective communication violates the Code rules.
The RAC members will do their utmost to determine the other subjects who work in advertising in Romania to meet the specific objectives and provisions of the Code.
ADVERTISING AGENCY: legal entity that provides services in various aspects of commercial communication (creation, planning/media purchase, research, consultancy etc.).
ADVERTISER: a person or legal entity that directly or indirectly promotes products, services, rights, obligations, companies, brands, logos or others alike.
ETHICS COMMITTEE: organizational structure that runs within the RAC, dealing with the assessment of commercial communication in accordance with the provisions of the Code.
TECHNICAL COMMITTEE: organizational structure that runs within the RAC, the members, responsibilities and attributions of which are defined in art. 43 of the RAC Code.
COMMERCIAL COMMUNICATION (hereinafter also referred to as COMMUNICATION): advertising or other means of conveying information used by the advertiser in order to inform or influence the consumer’s behavior, regardless of the distribution environment used, including promotions, sponsorships, direct sales and outlet presentations.
SOCIAL COMMUNICATION: message meant to state moral and social values, to communicate responsible attitudes in relation to the generally accepted social norms, to urge citizens to impact the community through initiatives designed to arouse public interest and awareness, to directly or indirectly request a voluntary contribution in cash, goods or services of any kind.
CONFLICT OF INTERESTS: a situation when the person belonging to the Ethics Committee represents entities that manufacture, distribute and/or represent products from identical or similar categories with the ones that make the object of the apprehension or has a patrimonial interest or which could affect the impersonal fulfillment of the incumbent attributions.
CONSUMER: any person or legal entity exposed to a form of commercial communication.
AVERAGE CONSUMER: consumer considered to be reasonably informed, careful and cautious, taking into account the social, cultural and linguistic factors.
CHILDREN: For the purposes of this Code, any person younger than 12 years.
COPY ADVICE: the advisory and confidential opinion issued by the Romanian Advertising Council („RAC”), at the request of an interested party, prior to a public distribution of a commercial communication, which confirms or refutes the fact that the respective commercial communication is consistent with the provisions and spirit of the Code.
MEDICAL DEVICE means any instrument, apparatus, equipment, software, material or other item used separately or in combination, including software intended by the manufacturer to be used specifically for diagnostic and / or therapeutic purposes and necessary for the proper operation of the medical device intended by the manufacturer to be used for humans for the purpose of:
a) diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, provision, prognosis, treatment or amelioration of a condition;
b) diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, amelioration or compensation of a lesion or disability;c) investigation, replacement or modification of anatomy or physiological processes;
d) birth control,
and which does not fulfill its principal purpose for which it was intended for human or animal body by pharmacological, immunological or metabolic means, but the operation of which can be assisted by above mentioned means.
INFLUENCER (e.g., blogger / vlogger / referral initiator): a person who makes public his point of view and / or advice on some of the advertiser's products and / or services on the basis of a contractual report in a manner and style which are their own. An influencer can intervene in an editorial context or in collaboration with a brand in order to publish specific commercial content.
GAMBLING: an activity that cumulatively fulfills the following conditions: material gains, usually money, as a result of the organizer's public offering of potential winnings and acceptance of the offer by the participant, with the collection of a direct participation fee or the winnings being awarded on the basis of the Gaming Regulation approved by the National Gaming Office, hereinafter ONJN, by randomly selecting the results of the events that are the subject of the game, regardless of how they are produced.Included in this category are also those activities where prize winners are based on the results of events or competitions that will be produced without the involvement of the organizers.
MASS – MEDIA: all the technical means of mass communication of information.
DIGITAL MEDIA: any electronic communication channel, including: email, banner, display-ads, text-ads, paid insertions, virals generated by the advertiser, advertising in online games, MMS/SMS, DVD/CD Rom, digital outdoor, Web pages with claims (implicit, direct, written, spoken, visual).
ADVERTISING: that form of commercial communication which is made known to consumers by the advertiser through mass-media, usually in exchange for payments.
TESTIMONIALS: communications containing references to persons, personal life, promoting the product through the use of references and personal experience.
COMPLAINT: formal written document, notification or request which refers to any form of commercial communication.
COMPETITION STATE: a situation when a RAC member has in his national or European portfolio a category of products similar or interchangeable to that aimed by the complaint; has in his national or European portfolio products in the same category as one of the two parties privy to a case; has in his national or European portfolio a product or a category of products with the potential to replace one of the products owned by one party at national or European level; has an active contractual relationship with one of the two parties in the case. Exceptions make the representatives of the members in the media, in the case of signed contracts for broadcasting information.
SPECIAL OFFER: any type of sales discount, sales promotion, advertising lotteries, sales with awards or other form of sale in conditions and terms different from a normal sale.
OPERATOR: any person, firm or company, other than the advertiser, which offers a direct marketing service for or on behalf of the advertiser.
PRODUCT: anything that becomes the subject of the commercial communication, including services, methods, treatments and others alike.
OFFICE: the RAC permanent executive staff.
SUBSTANTIATION: the proof that supports the affirmations in the commercial communication.
Any other definition used in the interpretation of this Code shall be in accordance with the industry practices and the legal regulations.
a) Applicability of the Code
(1) This Code shall be applied to:
• communications made by audiovisual media, including cinema and video;
• communications made by printed materials, such as newspapers, magazines, brochures, leaflets, posters, circulars, catalogs and others alike;
• communications made by other media displayed in public, including moving pictures;
• communications with advertising on the packaging and other promotional materials;
• communications made by electronic means of processing and conveying information, including landlines and mobile telephony;
• online communications (such as email, banner, pop-up and other elements alike);
• social communications.
(2) This Code shall not be applied to:
• communications relating to medical products and treatments, when they are intended for professionals (doctors, veterinarians etc.);
• editorial content;
• communications made by public bodies of the State;
• works of art exhibited in public or private environment;
• political communications, as they are referred to in art. 15 of the Code.
b) Purpose of the Code
The main objectives of the Code are:
• to protect the consumers’ interests;
• to protect the general public interest against any negative consequences of communication;
• to ensure the necessary framework for fair competition in the market.
The rules of the Code are the basis of self-regulation in communication.
c) Subjects of communication
The subjects of this Code are the advertisers, the advertising agencies and media entities.
The subjects of communication must observe the legislation in force regarding communication, as well as the provisions of this Code.
d) Members’ obligations
The RAC members accept the Code in its entirety, act in accordance with its provisions and spirit, respect it and are fully responsible for their actions, according to the Code.
The RAC member associations undertake to promote the Code among its own members and to recommend them to act in accordance with the Code.
e) Acceptance clause
If the sponsors or beneficiaries of a commercial sponsorship are RAC members, the Code compliance becomes the responsibility of both sponsor and beneficiary.
f) Interpretation criteria
The following criteria shall be applied in interpreting the Code:
• The RAC Code shall be interpreted both in letter and in spirit;
• The RAC Code shall be interpreted taking into account an entire commercial communication, including written or spoken texts and figures, visual appearances, music and sound effects;
• The RAC Code shall be interpreted taking into account the impact of the commercial communication on an average consumer, with the experience and abilities of a typical consumer, to whom that commercial communication is addressed;
• The RAC interpretation of the Code is final;
• The Code is indivisible, its interpretation being made by taking into account the entire content of the Code; no written or verbal correspondence of the members or non-members with RAC shall be interpreted as legal advice or its alternative;
• The Code shall not be interpreted or used in a way that would prejudice the freedom of speech;
• A message that is acceptable to a particular means of information or for a particular product is not mandatory generally acceptable, taking into account the different characteristics of the means of promoting communication and the great variety of products.
Art.1 – Basic principles of communication
1.1 – Communication must be honest, true, clear and decent. Communication must avoid any element that might diminish the confidence consumers hold in communication, in general.
1.2 – Communication shall not exploit credulity, lack of experience or of knowledge of the consumers.
1.3 – Communication shall avoid any statement or representation which may mislead the consumers, including by omission, suggestion, ambiguity or exaggeration, especially in terms of:
a) the characteristics or effects of a product, such as: its nature, composition, method and date of fabrication, method of execution, field of use, efficiency and performance, quantity, geographical or commercial origin, availability, destination, technico-functional parameters, expected results due to its use or the results and the essential characteristics of tests or examinations carried on it, whether the product meets its purpose etc;
b) the value of the product and the total price paid by the consumer, as well as the method of calculating the price;
c) the terms and conditions of delivery, change, return, repair and maintenance of the product;
d) the warranty conditions;
e) the advertiser’s identity;
f) the industrial and intellectual property rights, such as: patents, trademarks, designs and models, brand names etc;
g) the compliance with the standards;
h) the environmental aspects and benefits of the product or in terms of actions undertaken by the advertiser in favor of the environment;
i) the official recognition or approval, awards as medals, prizes and diplomas;
j) the contribution in supporting a charitable, social, cultural action etc.
1.4 – The design and presentation of the communication must allow it to be easily perceived visually and auditory by the consumer. When footnotes are used, they must have a sufficient size in order to be easily readable and have a length that allows its reading.
1.5 – The communication must avoid any message that may be considered indecent, vulgar or repugnant in terms of common sense and sensitivity of the consumers.
1.6 – The communication mustn’t be hidden or subliminal.
1.7 – The communication for a certain product mustn’t suggest or incite the consumer to give up on similar products, because the latter become unnecessary or improper for use.
1.8 – The subjects of the communication must ensure that advertisements are designed and presented so that they can’t be recognized as such.
Art.2 – Terminology, quotes, technical and scientific tests, statistical data
The communication must:
a) use the terms, quotes and references to technical and scientific tests in a proper and correct manner, which can be proved and substantiated throughout the communication;
b) to present the statistical data without exaggerating the claims about the product;
c) to use the vocabulary and scientific terminology so as not to falsely suggest that the claim on the product has a scientific support.
3.1 – The communication mustn’t contain or refer to testimonials, recognitions or supporting documentation, unless they are genuine, verifiable and relevant.
3.2 – In commercial communication, testimonials and recognitions used, that have become outdated or misleading due to the passage of time shouldn’t be used.
Article 4 - Commercial communication through influencers
4.1 - The advertisers shall be responsible for the communication performed by the influencers .
4.2 - The contractual relationship between the influencer and the advertiser must be clearly and visibly disclosed within the communication. Disclosure must be made for each article, post, video, tweet, etc. at the beginning of the communication.
4.3- The statements made by the influencers must be truthful, not misleading and verifiable .
4.4 - In case of posts about the use of the respective product by influencers, they are to make statements that represent their honest opinions and personal and authentic experience regarding the product, based on the evidence they posess, providing, where appropriate, the corresponding testimonials.
Art.5 -Native Advertising
Native advertising shall be transparent and it shall respect the following;
a) the consumer should be able to clearly identify it as advertising.
b) announcer identity shall be easy to verify.
c) marking it as advertising shall be visible and easy to understand for the consumer by use of specific expressions.
Art 6 - Warranties
Communication mustn’t falsely state or suggest that the guarantee or any other expression of the same effect offers additional rights to consumers, others than those provided by law.
Art.7 - Substantiation
7.1 – The advertiser must be able to prove the authenticity of the data, descriptions, statements, illustrations and testimonials used in advertising. The proofs must be current, relevant and documented.
7.2 – Upon request, this information must be provided to RAC without delay.
Art.8 – Social responsibility
8.1 – The communication mustn’t contain any form of discrimination or defamation based on social or political criteria, race, nationality, sex, age, religion, origin, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation etc.
8.2 – The communication must respect human dignity in all aspects.
8.3 – The communication mustn’t contain statements or representations that incite to verbal, mental or physical violence.
8.4 – The communication must avoid exploitation of fear, suffering and superstition, or of events that hold a high social impacts (i.e: pandemics etc.) except for situations where it is justified.
8.5. – The communication mustn’t incite or seem to support or encourage the violation of law or decent behavior.
Art.9 – Communication destined to children
9.1 – The communication for children mustn’t exploit their credulity and lack of experience.
9.2 – The communication for children mustn’t minimize the information relating to the skill level or age required to use a product or its benefits.
9.3 – The communication for children mustn’t exaggerate the true dimension, value, nature, reliability or performance of the product.
9.4 – In the communication for children, a product that is part of an assembly must be clearly indicated as such, as well as the means to obtain the other elements of the assembly.
9.5 – Price indications mustn’t induce children an erroneous perception of the actual value of the product (such as using the word “only”).
9.6 – The communication for children mustn’t contain any statement or representation that would risk causing them any physical or moral injury.
9.7 – The communication for children mustn’t show children in dangerous situations or engaged in activities harmful for them or others.
9.8 – The communication for children mustn’t encourage them to perform dangerous or risky activities or to induce them an antisocial behavior.
9.9 – The communication for children mustn’t undermine the authority, responsibility or social-cultural values of family or educators.
9.10 – The communication for children mustn’t urge them to persuade their parents or other adults to buy them products.
9.11 – The communication for children which invites to directly contact the advertiser must contain explicit recommendation to obtain the consent of the parent or another responsible adult.
9.12 – The communication for children mustn’t suggest that owning or using a product will give the child a physical, moral or social advantage on other children or that the lack of that product will have the opposite effect.
Art.10 - Safety
10.1 – Unless justified by educational and social reasons, the communication mustn’t contain descriptions or representations of possibly dangerous, risky situations or which show the neglect of safety or public health measures.
10.2 – The instructions for use must include safety warnings, as well as additional information, where appropriate.
10.3 – In communication, children need to be shown under adult supervision when a product or an activity involves a safety risk.
Art.11 – Reproduction, confusion and exploitation
11.1 – The communication mustn’t reproduce in whole or in part or obviously and deliberately imitate another communication belonging to another advertiser.
11.2 – The communication mustn’t violate the industrial and intellectual property rights, such as: patents, verbal or combined trademarks, commercial slogans, industrial designs and models, brand names, copyrights, name or communication campaign of another firm, company or institution etc, nor to use elements that clearly identifies other brands or products.
11.3 – If in the communication made by an advertiser, a product, brand or another element of communication identifiable by a third party is used, a prior agreement between these parties, respectively with the trademark holder is required.
11.4 – The cases when products, trademarks or other identifiable elements of a third party in that communication aren’t’ considered violations of art. 9.2 and 9.3, as defined in art. 10 of the Code.
Art.12 - Comparison
Comparison in communication is allowed only if it meets the following conditions:
a) it isn’t misleading, according to provisions of art 1.3 of the RAC Code;
b) it compares goods or services meeting the same needs or intended for the same purposes;
c) it objectively compares one or more essential, relevant, verifiable and representative characteristics of those goods or services, which may include the price;
d) it doesn’t discredit or denigrate trademarks, brand names, other distinguished marks, goods, services, activities or the situation of a competitor;
e) for products with designation of origin, it relates, in each case, to products with the same name;
f) it doesn’t take unfair advantage of the reputation of a trademark, brand name or other distinguished marks of a competitor or a designation of origin of the competing products;
g) it doesn’t present goods or services as imitations or copies of goods and services bearing a trademark or a protected brand name;
h) it doesn’t create confusion among traders, between the advertiser and a competitor or between trademarks, brand names, other distinguished marks, goods or services of the advertiser and those of the competitor.
Art.13 - Denigration
Denigration of persons, organizations, companies, commercial and industrial activities, professions, products, marketing elements and other factors associated with them, even without being explicitly mentioned, is prohibited.
Art.14 – Privacy protection
14.1 – Advertisement mustn’t portray persons – private or public – or refer to them without their consent.
14.2 – Advertising mustn’t refer to the assets owned by a natural person or legal entity without their consent.
Art.15 – Identity and identification
15.1 – The identity of the advertiser or the product must be obvious. This does not apply to communications that aim at raising awareness on some subsequent communications, such as “teaser”.
15.2 – When relevant, the communication must include the contact details of the advertiser.
15.3 – Commercial communication must be clearly differentiated, regardless of the form or environment in which it is used.
15.4 – When a communication emerges in a means of mass information with editorial or news content, it must be represented so that it can be recognized as such.
15.5 – Commercial communication mustn’t be dissimulated in marketing research, market research, consumer research etc.
Art.16 – Environmental protection
16. 1 – The communication mustn’t encourage actions against law or generally accepted norms of environmental protection.
16.2 – Signs or symbols relating to environmental protection or collecting systems, as well as messages about environment and pollution reduction can be used in communication only if their source is clearly indicated or identifiable; there is no risk of confusion regarding their meaning and can be substantiated by the advertiser. These signs and symbols mustn’t be used so as to suggest official approval or certification by third parties, if this approval or certification does not exist.
16.3 – In a communication, statements about environment mustn’t suggest that it refers to several stages from the life cycle of a product or to more of the properties of the product than it can be supported by evidence. The advertiser must clearly specify to which of the stages or properties refers to in the communication,
16.4 – When a statement refers to the reduction of components or elements that have an impact on the environment, the advertiser must clearly specify which components or elements have been reduced.
Art.17 – Political Communication
This Code doesn’t apply to communication that is intended to inform or influence the voters in the election or referendum.
A) SALES SYSTEMS
Art.18 – The prices
18.1 – If the price is mentioned in a communication, it must refer only to the product described or promoted by that communication.
18.2 – If the period of a price offer isn’t specified, then the price must be maintained throughout the communication.
18.3 – Whether the payment for an offer is made in full or in by installments, the price and the payment terms must be clearly specified in the offer, together with the mention of any additional charges (such as postage, delivery taxes etc) and, when possible, the value of these taxes.
Art.19 – Free offers
19.1 – An offer can be descried as free only when the consumer, if he participates in the promotional campaign, pays no more than:
a) the cost of participation in the promotion (e.g.: the current postage, the tax of a normal rate telephone call, the normal cost of sending an email, if necessary, or the normal cost of an SMS);
b) The cost, including the incidental expenses of any trip of the consumer, if he picks up the free product.
19.2 – The terms “gratis” / “free”, “gift”, “no costs” or others alike can be used only if:
a) the offer doesn’t imply any obligations or
b) the only payment are the costs mentioned in art. 17.1 or
c) in conjunction with the purchase of another product, it doesn’t imply increasing the price of that product in order to fully or partially include the cost of the offer.
19.3 – The costs incumbent on the consumer, others than those expressly indicated above for the free offer, must be clearly specified and include any additional delivery, packing and handling charges.
19.4 – If an offer is made on a product and, in order to benefit from it, a certain number of products must be purchased, and this information must be clearly indicated.
19.5 – If an offer refers to two or more products, of which only one is free, the consumer must be clearly indicated which is free and which must be paid for.
19.6 – A “sample testing” mustn’t be described as free if the consumer has to pay the cost of returning the goods, unless this information is clearly specified in the offer made to the consumer.
19.7 – If samples or gifts are distributed without being requested during a promotion, the consumer must be clearly informed that he has no obligation to pay or return them.
Art.20 – Product availability
When the availability of some or all advertised products is limited, this must be mentioned in the communication.
Art.21 – Sales for credit
21.1 – The communication that specializes in sales for credit must clearly and in good faith indicate the terms and conditions of the credit.
21.2 – Any information necessary to the consumer, in order to understand the total cost, interest and terms of any other forms of credit, must be provided whether in the offer or when the credit is in progress.
Art. 22 – Distance sales
22.1 – The communication for distance sales must clearly contain the full name and address of the advertiser (and of the provider, if different).
22.2 – The communication for distance sales that require payment before the product is received and that contains written response mechanisms must also contain the full address of the advertiser (and of the provider, if different). The communication that contains only telephone and/or email response mechanisms must also include the phone number and/or the address of the advertiser (and of the provider, if different). If the payment is done electronically, it is necessary to mention the security payment conditions.
22.3 – Advertising by fax or automatic calls must include the full name and the available address or a free phone number with normal charges belonging to the advertiser, where the consumer can send / forward the request to be removed from the database.
22.4 – The use of the telephone in commercial communication:
a) A phone call received – the operator who calls a consumer must:
a.1) immediately specify the name of the advertiser he represents;
a. 2) clearly specify the purpose of the call;
a. 3) complete the call in a polite way when it becomes obvious that the interlocutor is no longer able or willing to accept the call or is a child (unless the operator receives an adult permission to continue the call);
Unless the correspondent expressly asked for something else, these calls must be made during the hours that are generally considered reasonable for the addressee.
b) If an operator calls a consumer who owns a telephone which enables him to identify the caller, the consumer should be able to identify the calling number;
c) For all phone calls – before the operator ends the call, he must ensure that the addressee is informed and knowledgeable with the nature of their agreement and any action that will follow the call;
d) If the call does not result in an immediate sale, but in a future contract with the advertiser or the processing of his personal data, then the operator must inform the consumer of this;
e) If the information provided by the consumer will be used for any non-obvious purposes (a goal that is not revealed), then the operator must explain this to the consumer, in accordance with the regulations concerning the protection of personal data;
f) If an item order is the result of a call, the advertiser is forced to inform the consumer that the latter is entitled to receive confirmation in writing or in a durable form of the contract terms at the proper time, no later than the delivery date of the product or the service start date. The confirmation must include all the specified information concerning the right of withdrawal, the identity of the seller and, as appropriate, any other relevant information for the distance selling.
g) Monitoring and recording telephone calls for commercial purposes must be conducted with appropriate security measures in order to check the content of the call, to confirm a commercial transaction, for training and quality control purposes. The operators and consumers must be informed of the possibility of monitoring from the beginning of the call. No registration will be made public without the prior approval of both interlocutors.
h) The contact for commercial purposes of persons whose phone numbers aren’t public is prohibited, unless the consumer provided the number to the advertiser or the operator for this purpose.
Art. 23 – The communication transmitted by digital media
23.1 – Commercial communication sent by email must be clearly identified as such, by topic, without having to open the message. The subject of the message mustn’t be deceitful, and the commercial nature of the message mustn’t be hidden.
23.2 – When a communication transmitted by digital media has an advertising nature, no technique can be used to hide the factors that could influence the consumer’s decision (e.g.: the price, the terms and the sale conditions etc).
23.3 – The precursory steps up to the release of a purchase order, the signing of a contract or commitment, must contain full and accurate information on the terms of transaction. If data is required to complete a purchase order, the consumer must have the possibility to verify the accuracy of data entered before launching the actual order.
23.4 – Commercial communication sent by digital media must include a clear and transparent mechanism to enable the consumer to express the option not to receive such messages in the future. These disapproval mechanisms must be easy to identify, understand and use and to allow quick unsubscribing.
23.5 – Commercial communication by email or mobile phone must include the full name and valid address (e.g.: an email address) of the sender, where the consumer can send the request to quit the database.
23.6 – Commercial communication sent by online media, such as pop-up, must enable the consumer to easily close the message in a visual and temporal manner, so as not to interfere with the editorial content of the page visited.
Art.24 – The unsolicited distribution of goods
24.1 – Commercial communication associated with the practice of sending unsolicited products to the consumer, which require further payment (inertial sale), including statements or suggestions that recipients are required to accept and pay for such products should be avoided.
24.2 – Commercial communication that requires an answer, which consists of an order that will involve a payment (e.g.: the appearance in a publication), must be clearly expressed.
24.3 – Commercial communication that require an order mustn’t be presented in a form that can be mistaken for an invoice, or otherwise said, that falsely suggest a due date payment.
Art.25 – Communication of special offers
25.1 – The communication that refers to special offers must clearly and accessibly state the advantage of that acquisition, the conditions of participation (if any), as well as the expiration date of the offer. There’s no need to mention these remarks in communicating the product packaging that participate in that special offer.
25.2 – The communication that refers to one day sales, business opportunities and others alike must contain the full name and address of the outlet of the promotional sale.
25.3 – The advertiser must inform the consumer on how to access the rules of the advertising lottery and the conditions of awarding, as well as the means of mass media or the place where the results are to be announced.
25.4 – The costs incumbent to the consumer for the prize must be clearly specified and include any additional delivery, packing and handling charges.
Art.26 – Product placement
26.1 – The following ways to use a product are recognized and accepted in the practice of product placement: handling (the actor touches the product), implicit display (the actor uses the product), static display (the product is exposed to view), wardrobe (the actor wears the product), verbalization (the actor mentions the product or the brand), verbalization and handling (the actor mentions and touches the product).
26.2 – The product placement mustn’t directly encourage the purchase or rental of goods, especially for special promotional references to those products. The product placement mustn’t exaggeratedly emphasize the products in question.
B) PRODUCTS CATEGORIES
Art.27 – Alcoholic beverages
27.1 – The communication for alcoholic beverages mustn’t come into contradiction with the need of the society to represent consumer models that encourage the moderate and responsible consumption of such products.
27. 2 – The communication for alcoholic beverages mustn’t:
a) encourage the excessive consumption or abuse of alcoholic beverages;
b) suggest that alcoholic beverages are provided with therapeutic properties or that they have a stimulative or sedative effect; this provision does not apply to products with alcohol concentration exceeding 1.2%.
c) suggest that alcoholic beverages can solve personal issues;
d) portray minors or pregnant women consuming alcoholic beverages;
e) present cases of alcohol dependence;
f) positively present alcohol addiction or not to present a negative image about abstinence;
g) associate alcohol consumption and driving vehicles or handling tools that require careful handling, risky activities or professional skill;
h) present the percentage of alcohol content as a favorable quality of the product;
i) create confusion about the alcoholic content of the product;
j) suggest that a low percentage of alcohol content means a decreased risk of adverse effects of consumption;
k) create the public the belief that the consumption of alcoholic beverages would lead to the improvement of physical and/or intellectual performances, or that the lack of consumption of these products would cause physical and/or intellectual inferiority;
l) create the public the belief that there is a link between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and social, sexual or professional success.
27.3 – The communication for alcoholic beverages that shows violent, aggressive or antisocial behaviors or attitudes is prohibited.
27.4 – The communication for alcoholic beverages won’t show persons drinking alcohol if they are not, do not act and appear to be, within reasonable limits, older than 25 years.
27.5 – In case of advertising for beer, the provisions of this Article shall complement with the provisions in Annex 1.
27.6 - In case of advertising for alcoholic beverages, provisions of the present article shall be taken into account together with the provisions in ANNEX SPIRITS Code.
Art.28 – Cosmetics and personal hygiene products
28.1 – The communication on cosmetics and personal hygiene products mustn’t make the consumer believe that these products have other uses rather than their being used for the purpose for which they were created.
28.2 – The communication can present these products as having additional features which help prevent certain pathological conditions, provided that the products be specially formulated for this purpose.
28.3 – Under no circumstances, the communication must make the consumers believe that they can replace drugs, medical treatments, cosmetics or personal hygiene products.
Art.29 – Products for specific nutritional needs
Special nutritional products include:food destined to babies and todlers, food for special medical needs and diet replacement products for weight control.
29.1 - Communication for special nutrition products shall be done in a manner that doesn’t push the consumer to a nutritional mistake and must avoid references to medical recommendations.
Art 31– Communication for drugs, food supplements, medical devices, healing treatments and alternative healing methods
31.1 – The communication for drugs and medical treatments purchased with a medical prescription is prohibited.
31.2 – The communication for drugs must support their rational use, to present them objectively, without exaggerating their therapeutic qualities. The communication mustn’t suggest that a drug or an active ingredient has any merit, quality or special property, if this can’t be scientifically proved.
31.3 – The communication for treatments that don’t require a medical prescription (OTC), for food supplements, healing treatments and alternative healing methods mustn’t:
a) suggest that the product doesn’t cause side effects;
b) suggest that the product doesn’t present risks of toxicity or addiction;
c) suggest that the effects of a certain product are better or equivalent to those of an identifiable drug or medical treatment;
d) suggest that the safety and effectiveness of that product is due to the fact that is a natural product;
e) suggest that a medical consultation or a surgery aren’t necessary or incite to a possible wrong self-diagnosis;
f) suggest that the effect of the treatment with that product is guaranteed;
g) suggest that the normal state of health of the subject can be improved by using that product;
h) suggest that the consumer’s health may be affected in the absence of that product; except the communication in vaccination campaigns;
i) directly address to minors;
j) use the recommendations of scientists, medical professionals or public persons, as well as the fact that a product has received permission to be sold;
k) refer to the ways of healing in an appropriate and misleading manner;
l) compare drugs with food, cosmetics or other commodities;
m) use inappropriate, misleading or impressive representations of the changes in the human body caused by disease, injuries or the action of a medicinal product, food supplement, healing treatment or alternative healing method.
31.4 – The communication for food supplements, healing treatments and alternative healing methods must include the risk phrases recommended by regulations in force.
31.5 – Food supplements shall not be deemed to hold prevention, treatment or healing properties. Food supplements shall not be attributed properties that the former do not possess.
31.6 – Advertising for food supplements mustn’t contain direct statements or statements that induce the idea that a varied and balanced diet can’t provide adequate amounts of nutrients, in general.
Art. 32 – Training courses, offers of employment or business collaboration and teaching or study methods
32.1 – The communication must be made so as not to create confusion among offers of employment, offers of business collaboration, training courses and teaching or study methods.
32.2 – The communication related to training courses and teaching or study methods must include or make clear reference to the conditions of registration, participation or graduation.
32.3 – The communication related to training courses and teaching or study methods mustn’t contain promises of a job unless it is firmly guaranteed, and it mustn’t exaggerate the employment or wage opportunities for people who follow those courses or adopt the methods proposed.
Art.33 – Financial and real estate transactions
33.1 – The communication meant to require or promote financial or real estate transactions and, especially, saving and investment transactions in securities and immovable properties must provide clear and complete information, in order not to mislead the public, so that the people who perceive the message, despite their possible lack of experience, are able to make a knowingly choice to use their own resources.
33.2 – The communication for financial and real estate transactions must clearly specify that the value of the investment is variable, and if not guaranteed, it can increase or decrease. If the value of the investment is guaranteed, the details must be included in the commercial communication.
33.3 – The provisions of these articles apply also in communications for banking, non-bank financial services, services of stock exchanges, pension and insurance funds; for the latter, if any, it must be specified that it is an investment.
Art.34 – Travel packages
The communication for travel packages must provide sufficient, complete, accurate and easy to understand information for an average consumer and must indicate the additional information source, especially in the case of information related to services and/or products included in the price mentioned.
Art.35 – Games, toys and educational products for children
35.1 – The communication related to games, toys and educational products for children mustn’t mislead on:
a) the nature, characteristics, performances and size of the product;
b) the degree of competence needed to use the product;
c) the amount of money to be spent, especially when it comes to buying additional products to make the product work.
35.2 – Under no circumstances must this communication minimize the price of the product or imply that its acquisition is normally accessible to the budget of every family.
Art.36 – Social communication
36.1 – For a clear understanding and an easy identification, the social communication (including the advertising appeal) must include the name of the advertiser, as well as the social objective to be achieved.
36.2 – In case of social communication related to an initiative of commercial promotion, the amount of money or the percentage for the social purpose must be mentioned.
36.3 – Social communication shall under no circumstance:
a) hold a commercial purpose;
b) exploit human suffering, thereby affecting human dignity;
c) resort to shocking facts, in order to justify excessive demands or induce feelings of fear and anxiety;
d) make the ones who disagree with the appeal feel guilty or indebted;
e) present in an exaggerated manner the degree and the nature of the social problem for which the appeal is made;
f) overestimate the exact or potential value of the people’s contribution to that initiative;
g) require money from minors.
Art.38 – The operation of the Ethics Committee
38.1 – The correct assessment of the application and compliance with the Code of Practice in Advertising comes under the responsibility of the Ethics Committee.
38.2 – The Ethics Committee meets whenever it is necessary.
38.3 – The Ethics Committee consists of five members.
38.4 – Independent persons can join the Ethics Committee, as permanent members in the committee, voted by the General Assembly of the RAC members.
38.5 – The Ethics Committee takes decisions by majority vote.
38.6 – Voting is made openly within the Ethics Committee.
38.7 – All members have the right to one vote and the obligation to express for or against.
38.8 – The discussions of the Ethics Committee are strictly confidential.
38.9 – The members of the Ethics Committee meet their obligations based on their own beliefs, not on the representation of the RAC members’ interests who accepted this Code.
Art.39 – Office
39.1 – The RAC Office also serves the Ethics Committee.
39.2 – The Office is represented at the meetings of the Ethics Committee by the Executive Secretary and/or the Executive Director.
39.3 – The Office is required to maintain the confidentiality of the materials, debates and individual vote.
Art.40 – Initiating and filing a complaint
40.1 – Any person or legal entity or any state authority can give notice to the RAC.
40.2 – Complaints submitted to the RAC must be in writing and can be sent including by fax, mail or email.
40.3 – It is recommended that the complaints be detailed and argued (according to the model published on the RAC website).
40.4 – The Office files the complaints when received.
40.5 – Within 24 hours after filing the complaint:
a) the Board is informed about it;
b) the party concerned by the complaint is contacted, which receives the text of the complaint and the afferent documentation and is required to provide, within 48 hours after the request, its point of view and official position in that case;
c) the RAC recommends the amicably solving of the case.
40.6 – Any member of the RAC can refer himself a matter concerning a commercial communication. The complaint is notified to the Office, which shall immediately inform the Board on the case. The Board will decide, by vote, if the Ethics Committee will be held to consider that communication.
40.7 – If the RAC refers the matter to itself, the organization of the Ethics Committee and the analysis or that commercial communication shall be made according to the same procedure.
Art.41 – The institution of the Ethics Committee
41.1 – Within 24 hours after filing the complaint:
a) The Office shall inform the Board on the complaint;
b) the Executive Secretary shall forward the participation request in the meeting of the Ethics Committee;
c) the Ethics Committee is completed in the order of receiving the confirmation to participate of the RAC members.
d) if within 24 hours from sending the convocation message, the Ethics Committee does not meet, the RAC Office shall draw lots for the members that will complete the Ethics Committee, ensuring that there is no conflict of interest.
41.2 – Within 48 hours after filing the complaint:
a) The members of the Ethics Committee shall declare their availability/unavailability to constitute that Ethics Committee; the members of the Ethics Committee have the moral obligation to abstain in the case of a potential conflict of interest;
b) The Office shall inform the RAC members on the final component of the Ethics Committee;
c) after constituting the Ethics Committee, the parties shall be informed concerning its structure and shall be invited to participate at the meeting; the parties aren’t obliged to accept the invitation to participate at the meeting of the Ethics Committee;
d) the organization of the Ethics Committee is not conditioned by the presence of the parties at the meeting;
e) if a party/the parties consider that a member of the Ethics Committee is in a conflict of interest state, when announcing the structure of the Ethics Committee, it/they can request the disqualification of that member, following the request by an argument;
f) the conflict of interest can be invoked in one of the following circumstances: the person represents a member of RAC involved in the case or the person represents a member of the RAC who is in competition with one of the parties in the case;
g) the disqualification request is transmitted to RAC and is addressed to the Board;
h) based on the argumentation submitted, the Board will decide to approve or reject the disqualification request of that member of the Ethics Committee;
i) in case of disqualification of a member of the Ethics Committee, the RAC Office will contact the other members in order to complete it.
j) the date of the meeting of the Ethics Committee is established, which can’t exceed four days after the date of filling the complaint.
Art.42 – The case files
42.1 – Within 24 hours after filing the complaint, the Office shall contact the party concerned by the complaint, which shall receive the text of the complaint and the afferent documentation and is shall be asked to state its official position regarding that complaint within 48 hours from the date of sending the complaint.
42.2 – When determining the Ethics Committee, its members shall receive all documentation available at that time. Subsequently, the Office shall also submit the official position of the party concerned, as well as any additional documents.
42.3 – The Office shall forward the complaint and all documentation available only to the members of the Ethics Committee.
42.4 – The members of the Ethics Committee shall receive all documentation available relating to the case in question and they have the obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the materials, debates and individual vote.
42.5 – If the gathering of additional evidence is necessary, the Ethics Committee shall address the Office, which shall act immediately and without formalities to obtain additional evidence and documents. Once this operation completed, the Office shall make the material available to the Ethics Committee.
42.6 – At any moment, the Ethics Committee can require the advertiser documents to support the veracity of the data, descriptions, statements, illustrations and testimonials from a communication. The advertiser shall provide to the RAC the information and documents requested in the time limit set by the Ethics Committee.
42.7 - a) The Ethics Committee can resort to independent experts to evaluate the documents or hearing the parties;
b) The expert is proposed by the Office, parties or members of the Ethics Committee and must be agreed/validated by both parties involved; if the parties fail to agree on an expert, then he will be appointed and approved by the Ethics Committee, avoiding the conflict of interest;
c) The expert evaluates the information presented, draws up a report, which he submits to the Ethics Committee and/or participates, if necessary, at the meeting of the Ethics Committee to provide technical support, without having the right to vote;
d) The expert must maintain the confidentiality of the information obtained in this capacity. Fulfilling this obligation shall be secured by signing a confidentiality agreement.
Art.43 – The meeting of the Ethics Committee
43.1 – Within 48 hours after filing the complaint, the Office shall schedule the meeting of the Ethics Committee, no later than four days after filing the complaint.
43.2 – Within 4 days after filing the complaint, the Office shall organize the meeting of the Ethics Committee, ensuring the presence of the five members and, if necessary, of the two parties in the case and of experts, as mentioned in art. 38.7.
43.3 - a) The members of the Ethics Committee and the Executive Secretary of the RAC and/or the Executive Director of the RAC are present at the meeting of the Ethics Committee.
b) If an expert was requested to evaluate the documentation, in accordance with art. 38.7, he can be invited to the meeting of the Ethics Committee to present his report. He does not participate in the debates of the Ethics Committee;
c) If the parties are heard by the Ethics Committee, their representatives are invited in turn to present their arguments. They don’t participate in the debates and the vote of the Ethics Committee;
d) In addition, an other person requested by the Ethics Committee can attend the meeting, on condition that the person respects the confidentiality of the meeting and does not participate in the voting/decision making.
43.4 – The Ethics Committee examines the commercial communication in its entirety.
43.5 – If the Ethics Committee considers that certain matters, others than those rose in the complaint, may violate the Code, at the request of the party concerned and only if necessary, the Ethics Committee may grant the party 24 hours to support with technical documents the truthfulness of the statements contained in the communication, which weren’t covered by the complaint. This additional technical documentation will be submitted to the RAC Office, which will immediately make it available to the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee will review the additional documentation and vote by email.
43.6 – In the case of a complaint that aims at a commercial communication modified under a decision of the RAC, the analysis of these changes is preferable to be made by the same Ethics Committee, which may vote also by email.
Art.44 – The decision of the Ethics Committee
44.1 - a) Within 24 hours after the decision of the Ethics Committee, the Office will transmit in written the decision of the involved parties.
b) When, according to the decision of the Ethics Committee, the communication violates the rules of the Code, the Ethics Committee invites the party concerned to take measures for that communication to observe the provisions of this Code;
c) The period of implementation of the RAC decision is five days;
44.2 - a) The decisions of the Ethics Committee must contain the following information:
• the source of the complaint;
• the object of the complaint;
• the date of registration;
• the structure that analyzes the complaint (the Ethics Committee)
• the meeting date of the Ethics Committee;
• the decision of the Ethics Committee with its reasons therefore, where necessary;
• the provisions of the Code of Practice in Advertising under which it was decided;
• the deadline for implementing the decision.
b) The deadline for emergency implementation: the Ethics Committee can require the emergency implementation of its decision – in less than 5 days from the date of communicating the decision – when the damages of that advertising on the consumers are major;
c) The Ethics Committee can extend the deadline for implementation at the request of the party concerned by the RAC decision and by logistical reasons only.
44.3 – If the matter is amicably solved, the initiator of the complaint must inform in written the RAC about the extinction of the case.
44.4 – The parties concerned can’t use the decisions of the Ethics Committee for advertising purposes.
44.5 – The Office will draw up and archive the decisions of the Ethics Committee at the RAC headquarters, together with all existing documentation.
44.6 – The Office ensures the delivery on request and with the Board approval of the press releases relating to the cases examined by the Ethics Committee.
Art.45 - Deadlines
For the purposes of this Code, the deadlines start from 00:00 in the following day the act of procedure was performed. Public holidays and weekly rest periods are interruptible regarding the terms of this Code, meaning that a deadline ceases to run starting at 00:00 on the public holiday or in the weekly rest day and restarts to run from the moment it was stopped, at 00:00 in the next working day.
Art.46 – the Code is subject to changes at the recommendation of the members, with the approval of the General Assembly and, mainly, at least every two years.
Art.47 – The Technical Committee of the RAC oversees the procedures for amending the Code and draws up its final form, corroborating all the possible suggestions for amendments, approved by the General Assembly of the RAC.
Beer, when responsibly consumed is compatible with a balanced and healthy lifestyle and is enjoyed in a responsible way by the vast majority of consumers.
As responsible brewers we want to ensure that beer marketing is directed only at those above the legal purchasing age and is carried out with sufficient regard so as not to encourage excessive or irresponsible consumption.
The provisions of these Rules on Commercial Communications for Beer are the basis for the assessment of actual activities pertaining to commercial communications. This allows the brewing industry to develop commercial communications for beer in a creative manner and in line with brand values such as:
• drinking as a pleasurable personal or social experience;
• drinking as a social activity, and responsible consumption as a source of enjoyment and relaxation;
• responsible consumption as part of a healthy lifestyle for vast majority of consumers;
• drinking should done with moderation.
To maintain consumer confidence, it is in the interest of the brewing industry to ensure that its commercial communications are properly regulated, so that they are seen to be legal, decent, honest, truthful and socially acceptable.
The aim of these specific regulations for beer is to ensure compliance with and implementation of the letter of it and to improve – if and where is needed – commercial communications so as not to offend our audience or even come close to crossing the line between appropriate and inappropriate communications.
All corporate and brand-related websites should ask for confirmation of age on the homepage, inviting users to enter their date of birth and consequently refusing access to those below the legal drinking age.
These rules apply to all commercial communication channels and all media, including the internet and digital media of any kind that are used to transmit commercial alcohol-related marketing communication to the consumers.
If there is no legal requirement, a responsible consumption message must be included in all commercial communication by using video, printed communications, other media display street which allow the inscription, wherever appropriate.
It is recommended still, to insert a responsible consumption message on products labels surface which allow this inscription.
III. Basic principles
Commercial communication must:
• be legal, decent, honest and truthful, conforming to accepted principles of fair competition and good business practice;
• comply with all regulatory requirements in force;
• be prepared with a due sense of social responsibility and good faith and fairness;
• not be unethical in any way or otherwise offend or impugn human dignity or integrity;
• people shoud not be portrayed in ways which degrade them and deprive them of dignity, or in situations where they degrade themselves by their behavior;
• be mindful of sensitivities relating to culture, gender and religion.
Like all other commercial communication promotions should:
• always be developed, implemented and managed responsibly;
• always comply with applicable laws, regulations and self-regulatory codes;
• never be aimed at minors or people under the legal purchasing age, if higher;
• never encourage violent, aggressive, dangerous, anti-social or illegal behavior;
• never encourage drink driving or alcohol misuse;
• never demean any group in society or offend accepted standards of taste and decency.
1. The purpose of any commercial communication should be to promote a particular brand and not the effects of alcohol.
2. “Legal” and “conforming to principles of fair competition and good business practice” means that commercial communications should comply with both the letter and spirit of all national rules, regulations, laws and business practices.
3. Definitions of what is “decent and acceptable” vary from culture to culture, even between age groups. The context is often all-important: treatments which could be considered offensive by an older audience may be acceptable if targeted carefully for a younger audience above the legal drinking age.
4. “Decent” is also closely linked to concepts such as violence, or dangerous, unethical or irresponsible behavior. These should be avoided at all times and so should be gratuitous and demeaning use of sexual imagery, messages and innuendo.
5. “Honest”, “truthful”, “fairness and good faith” relate to integrity of our messages: we should never lie or present facts about our product that are untrue.
6. “Ethical” means that our actions must be true to the spirit of our rules on responsible commercial communication. It is unethical to try to find loopholes and ways around these rules, or to act in defiance of generally held moral principles, even if such actions are not expressly prohibited by these rules.
7. Respecting “human dignity and integrity” means that people should never be portrayed in a degrading way or asked to degrade themselves.
No one should be prohibited from participating in any promotion on the basis of their race, sexual orientation, religion or political inclination.
1. - Responsible Drinking
1.1 - Commercial communication shall not depict or encourage excessive or irresponsible consumption, nor present abstinence or moderation in a negative way.
1.2 - Commercial communication will not portray individuals in a state of intoxication or imply in any way that intoxication (drunkenness) is acceptable.
1.3 - Commercial communication shall not encourage violent, aggressive, dangerous or antisocial behavior (crowd or public disorder), or any association with illegal drugs or drug culture.
1.4 - Commercial communication shall not include pregnant women shown drinking and should not be directed to pregnant women.
1.5 - Commercial communication may not suggest consumption of beer under circumstances that are generally regarded as irresponsible or improper, e.g., preceding or during driving, at work or practicing sports - except non alcoholic beer.
1.6 - Commercial communication may not suggest physical prowess, power, or strength as a result of consuming alcohol beverages.
1.7 - Commercial communication will not encourage irresponsible consumption of beer, either through volume, time span or in any other way.
1.8 - Commercial communication will not present abstinence or moderation in a negative way. There are situations or times when consuming alcohol beverages may not be appropriate, and we will always respect an individual's choice not to drink.
1. Never encouraging “excessive or irresponsible consumption” means that our communications must not encourage people to drink beyond safe personal limits or in an anti-social manner. Consumers must never be encouraged (or shown in our communications) to exceed sensible drinking guidelines or drink sufficient volumes to lose their self-control (never show or imply a situation where somebody is, or is likely to become intoxicated). Never show a situation which suggests that a large quantity of beer has been, or is about to be, consumed. Always make sure that the amount of beer is appropriate to the number of drinkers present.
2. Showing people drinking from the bottle is acceptable, but our communications must not imply that a bottle or the full glass is downed in one.
3. People should not be challenged to drink: we must show respect for “abstinence and promote moderation”. People who choose not to drink or who drink limited amounts, should not be disparaged, ridiculed or portrayed in a negative light - for example "uncool".
4. Athletes and actors may not be shown consuming alcoholic beverages before and during any athletic event or other endeavor requiring exceptional physical ability, power or strength, except non alcoholic beer.
5. General sports sponsorship that features brand logos or slogans are acceptable as long as there is no suggestion that alcohol consumption contributes to athletic success, except non alcoholic beer.
6. Responsible consumption also means drinking in circumstances that are safe. Never show people drinking in situations where it is unsafe to do so. This goes further than drinking and driving: handling any sort of machinery, or mountaineering or rock-climbing, using a boat or a jet-ski, even swimming, etc.
• promotions should not refer to “ drinking games” that encourage excessive or irresponsible consumption;
• promotional activities and messages should never encourage consumers to engage in risky or potentially dangerous activity;
• promotional activities implying tasting shall be avoided in petrol stations, except non alcoholic beer;
• all promotions and promotional materials must not encourage irresponsible consumption or misuse of alcohol;
• if one of the activities presented at 1.6 is featured in advertising, it is important to establish that the drinking is doneAFTER the activity has finished and, equally importantly, that the activity is not about to be resumed after drinking.
2. - Underage
2.1 - Commercial communication shall not be primarily intended to appeal to persons below national purchasing age (i.e. 18 years old).
2.2 - Commercial communication shall not show any people drinking, unless they are, act and reasonably appear to be over 25 years old.
2.3 - Commercial communication shall not be specifically aimed at minors or show minors consuming beer.
2.4 - Commercial communication shall not promote beer in print media (newspapers, magazines), programs or events where the majority of the audiences are known to be minors. (Where possible, audience figures/data from the media will be sought).
2.5 - Commercial communication during broadcast media (TV, radio and cinema) that may have an underage audience of more than 25%, will appear only after prime time hours (as defined by the in force national legislation).
2.6 - Commercial communication such as billboards, bus shelter posters etc shall not be placed in close proximity and within clear view of a school, high-schools, kindergarten, playground, worship places or other site used primarily for children persons below national drinking age on a radius of 150 m.
2.7 - Commercial communication such as brand logo, or trademark, shall not be licensed for use on materials or merchandising for use primarily by persons below the legal purchasing age.
2.8 - Beer related websites will have an active filter that verifies the legal drinking age of any user and refuses the access fo those under the legal drinking age, and will carry a responsible use message.
1. In commercial communication it should not be used objects, images, symbols, music, fictions characters or real figures that appeal primarily to minors.
2. Commercial communciations must not use familiar brands, for example names, logos, games equipment or other items, that appeal primarily to minors.
3. For cinema advertising the given by local film classification is only a guideline. (70% of the audience are known to be people older then 18 years).
• no promotions may be directed to persons under the legal drinking age;
• the content of promotional materials and activities should not appeal primarily to people under the legal purchasing age;
• all reasonable steps should be made to ensure that promotions will not allow sampling for anyone below the legal drinking age. Promotions staff will be trained not to serve/to refuse to serve samples to underage individuals.
Regarding internet & related technologies:
• internet ads, sms messaging and internet sites, their content and related technologies should be designed for adults. As well as the company and brand websites, promotions on third-party websites must also comply with there rules. Content that may be especially attractive to minors must be avoided;
• all brands internet sites must state clearly that entry is restricted to people over teh legal purchasing age and prohibited to anyone younger than 18 years. To ensure this, active filters shall be installed on brand sites.
3. - Driving
3.1 - Commercial communication should not directly or indirectly associate consumption of beer with the act of driving vehicles of any kind.
3.2 - Commercial communication must never depict or encourage consumption of beer while or prior to driving motor vehicles of any kind - including speedboats, jet-skis, snow mobiles or aircraft.
3.3 - If commercial communication features an individual arriving at a party or driving a vehicle before entering a bar, it must be made clear that this person will not be driving later.
1. Sponsorship of public transport and taxis is permitted.
2. The branding of the trucks and other motor vehicles (used for commercial purpose) is permitted.
3. If commercial communication features an individual arriving at a party or driving a vehicle before entering a bar, it must be clear that this person will not be driving later.
• it is recommended to be particularly vigilant about participation of consumers who may drive following promotional activities - for examples, after a supermarket tasting, or in cases when it is taking place at the venues closely linked with driving - for examples highway restaurants or stores;
• it is recommended the exposure of a "don't drink and drive" or "don't drive after drinking" message. Except non alcoholic beer.
4. - Health claims and alcohol content
4.1 - Commercial communication shall not create any confusion or misunderstanding as to the nature and strength of beer.
4.2 - Commercial communication shall not use high or low alcoholic strength as a positive quality of the beer.
4.3 - Commercial communication shall not imply that abuse can be avoided by consuming beer with low alcoholic strength.
4.4 - Commercial communication shall not attribute beer the property of preventing, treating or curing a human disease, associate or even refer to such property.
4.5 - Commercial communication may not suggest that alcohol beverages should be consumed for potential net health benefits.
4.6 - Commercial communication must never claim that beer has therapeutic qualities, or that it is a stimulant, sedative or means of resolving personal conflicts.
4.7 - Commercial communication may include factual information such as calorie or carbohydrate content so long as it is not linked to health benefits.
4.8 - Commercial communication must never associate beer with pregnancy or target communications at pregnant women.
4.9 - Commercial communication must always ensure that packaging, marketing materials as well as advertising for alcoholic and non alcoholic versions of a beer are recognizably different and distinctive.
5. - Social & Sexual Success
5.1 - Commercial communication shall not create the impression that the consumption of beer enhances or is a prerequisite for social acceptance or social success, sexual success or seduction, or promote or exploit sexual indulgence or permissiveness or portray nudity.
5.2 - Commercial communication should not suggest that drinking can remove sexual inhibitions.
5.3 - Commercial communication shall not create an image of beer as a means to overcome problems of everyday life.
5.4 - Commercial communication should not be discriminatory for any sex.
1. Showing attractive people or featuring scenes in which men and women socialize is entirely acceptable.
2. Clothing and its appropriateness will always be judged in context in which it is shown (for example showing people wearing swimming suits by the pool or on the beach).
3. Social success means gaining status in the form of promotion, wealth, friends, possessions and popularity as well as gaining other people’s admiration or recognition of one’s achievements.
4. Generally the term “sexual success” is open to a number of different and not always mutually exclusive interpretations, but in our understanding commercial communication should not:
- present beer as an aid to seduction;
- portray drinking beer as a prelude to sexual activities;
- present beer as an “accessory“ to sexual activity.
6. - Association with Hazardous Activities
Commercial communication shall not associate consumption with the operation of potentially dangerous machinery or with the performance of potentially hazardous activities, portray the act of consumption prior to or during activities or in locations which are potentially hazardous.
7. - Free samples
Sampling is about offering consumers a positive brand experience that makes them want to buy the product. Offering any consumer more than one drink could be interpreted as encouraging irresponsible drinking.
The distribution of “free samples” is subject to the following rules:
• free samples may not be offered to minors (under age people) even with parental consent;
• free beer may only be offered in designated hospitality areas;
• samples must consist in one measure only (standard unit of 50 cl, which must be consumed at distribution point);
• if anyone tasting a sample must be warned that the sample contains alcohol and provided with information about its strength;
• if the sample is not consumed at the point of distribution recipients must be advised that it is for their consumption only and that they should not consume it before driving or give it to minors.
8. - Compliance and control
8.1 - All “Brewers of Romania” members commit themselves to follow all of the above rules.
8.2 - It is the responsibility of each member to ensure that their employees involved in all commercial communication, comply with the Code and that the Code becomes an integral part of the approval process for any commercial communication.
8.3 - Compliance must also be secured as a pre-requisite when warding business to:
- advertising agencies;
- market research companies;
- agencies and media buyers;
- other external consultants and agencies.
9. Monitoring of compliance
9.1 Anyone (individual, legal person or entity of the State) may refer to the Romanian Advertising Council on a commercial communication by submitting a written intimation against any member of the Brewers of Romania Association. This intimation will be sent directly to the Romanian Advertising Council, in attention of the president, copy to the executive secretary and, possibly, a copy to the general manager of Brewers of Romania Association.
9.2 The executive secretary of the Romanian Advertising Council or the General Manager of the Brewers of Romania Association shall inform the member association against whom the complaint was made.
9.3 The complaint will be analyzed and judged by the Romanian Advertising Council Ethic Committee based on the Code of Commercial Communications of Romanian Advertising Council.
9.4 As the Code is recognized by the Members of the Brewers of Romania, consequently the decision of the Ethic Committee is to be applied.
9.5 Starting with 1st of July 2009 Brewers of Romania Association, based on information provided by the Romanian Advertising Council will draw 2 half-yearly reports (in December and June) which will cover complaints made. The 2 reports will be published no later than 15 days from the end of each semester.
9.6 Between the Brewers of Romania Association's website and that of the Romanian Advertising Council must be a connection, so that those who access the website of the Association be able, if there are irregularities observed in a commercial communication, to make and send a complaint with the forms on the site.
10. - Self complaint
10.1 Brewers of Romania Association may self complain on existing market practices which break the Commercial Code of Communication by a member of the Regulatory Committee.
10.2 The self complaint can be when one of the Regulatory Committee members make informed in writing, by electronic communication, other members of the Committee about a possible failure of the Code in relation to commercial communication.
10.3 The self complaint will be discussed at the Regulatory Committee meetings, the final decision being taken by the existing majority.
10.4 In case that, following the self complaint, the Regulatory Committee found a failure of the Commercial Code of Communication, the executive director of the Brewers of Romania Association will provide in writing to the members of this Association that broke the Code and need to correct the action.
10.5 If the Association member, who has violated the Code, refuses to correct their communication, the self complaint will be sent to the Romanian Advertising Council to be considered by the Ethic Committee of the Council.
11. - General provisions
11.1 The Code is subject to changes at the recommendation of the members, with the approval of the Romanian Advertising Council's General Assembly, at least once a year.
11.2 The Regulatory Committee of the Brewers of Romania Association oversees the procedures for amending the Code and prepares its final form, corroboratin all suggestions for amendements approved by the Romanian Advertising Council's General Assembly.
11.3 The members of Brewers of Romania Association must accept the Code in full, to act according to it, to observe and to be fully responsible for their actions, under the provisions of the Code.
11.4 A version of the Code is found on the website of the Association but also the site of at least one of the members of the Brewers of Romania Association.
The telecommunication companies (fixed telephony, mobile telephony, internet, television services) are active companies that are often visible on the advertising market. Due to the specificity of the products and services these companies offer, their commercial communications undergo a very quick process of renewal and modification, sometimes within only a few days. Moreover, the nature of the products and services they offer compels the related commercial communications to include various complex pieces of information.
Considering the above arguments, the RAC members for fixed telephony, mobile telephony, internet and television services wish that self-regulation will ensure a true, honest and unequivocal communication process that might provide the customers with all the information they need in the clearest possible way, in order to make informed decisions and not feel deceived.
Telecommunications company = legal entity whose activity consists of supplying fixed and mobile telephony services and products, internet access, data transfer, radio and television as well as any other related services, products or accessories.
Footnote (explanations, exceptions, remarks) = written or oral text appearing during or after commercial communications on various media and supports; their purpose is to provide additional explanations, remarks or references to certain exceptions from the commercial offers of the telecommunications companies.
Average consumer = a consumer deemed to be reasonably informed, attentive and cautious when taking into account the social, cultural and linguistic factors involved.
3. Code applicability
This code shall apply to all the commercial communications of telecommunications companies, as follows:
- Communications on audiovisual media including cinema and video;
- Communications on printed material such as newspapers, magazines, booklets, flyers, posters, leaflets, catalogues or similar media;
- Communications on other publicly displayed media, including images in motion;
- Communications with advertising purpose on packages and other promotional materials;
- Communications created with electronic means of processing and conveying the information, including fixed telephony, mobile telephony and on-line communications (such as e-mails, banners, pop-ups and other similar elements).
Art. 1 – Clarity of the information
The commercial communication shall be conveyed in such a way that it is clear, unequivocal and easily understood by the average consumer.
Art. 2 – Correctness of the information
All the information conveyed by the commercial communication shall be correct and adequate.
Art. 3 – Advertising substantiation
The announcer must be able to, at all times, provide evidence for the validity and trustworthiness of the data, descriptions, statements, illustrations and testimonials used for advertising purposes. Such evidence shall consist of concrete and relevant elements.
Art. 4 – Complete information
The commercial communication shall not offer erroneous, ambiguous or misleading presentations of the data or information and it shall not leave out information that might be important for the decision to purchase a certain service or product.
Art. 5 – Footnotes
a. In the case of audiovisual communications (television, cinema, video or similar), the footnotes shall be at least 14 points in size (Arial font) and shall be present on screen at least during the time the information they supplement or explain is displayed or spoken.
b. The footnotes shall be on display enough for the average consumer – as defined in this code – to be able to read them.
c. For communications conveyed on the radio, the footnotes shall be spoken at a speed that allows the consumer to understand them clearly and easily.
d. For communications conveyed on printed media (newspapers, magazines, booklets, flyers, posters, leaflets, catalogues or similar) the size of the footnotes shall be enough to make them easy to read and understand by the consumer.
e. The footnotes shall be clear and explicit enough for the consumer to understand the real requirements for benefiting from the products or services promoted in the commercial communications. However, if there should be any constraint due to the size of the footnote space or duration of the display time, the footnotes may point to a web address or other such solution providing to the average consumer all the information he might need before purchasing a product.
1. In order to settle the possible complaints regarding a commercial communication, RAC members shall resort to the Romanian Advertising Council in the first place, by following the procedure described in the Advertising Code of Practice prepared by RAC. Notwithstanding the above, the RAC members' right to approach other organizations or institutions that are entitled to analyse such complaints shall not be excluded.
2. Any term not defined herein shall have the definition given in the Advertising Code of Practice prepared by RAC .
3. The dispositions of the Advertising Code of Practice prepared by RAC shall also apply to this document if possible.