The Romanian Advertising Council (RAC) has launched the Copy Advice service in August 2009. The service is addressed to companies or advertising agencies wanting a recommendation when creating a commercial communication in accordance with the ethic standards and principles encompassed by RAC's Advertising Code of Practice.
Copy Advice is a non-binding and confidential opinion issued by the Romanian Advertising Council (“RAC”), on an interested part’s request, before the public broadcast of a commercial communication, opinion that confirms or disaffirms that the commercial communication for which copy advice has been solicited is in agreement with the provisions and the spirit of the Advertising Code of Practice (“RAC Code”).
Copy Advice has two main characteristics:
a) Is non-binding, only advisory;
b) It refers to a certain concrete commercial communication proposal (a spot, a campaign).
a) Copy Advice is an advisory service, non-binding, the owner of the commercial communication concerned being free to take or not into consideration RAC’s opinion;
b) The analyses and the evaluation of the commercial communication are done only based on the RAC Code;
c) the owners of commercial communications, irrespective of RAC membership may benefit from Copy Advice;
d) Copy Advice is offered by RAC, through the executive management and the designated experts;
e) Confidentiality of al the materials sent by the solicitant is assured, only RAC Secretariat and the experts consulted having access to them, and only at the RAC headquarters.
Only the owner of the commercial communication, as commercial communication is defined and who comes under the incidence of the RAC Code (communication proposal/commercial or campaign draft), can ask for Copy Advice. The owner of the commercial communication is the producer (the creator) or/and the beneficiary (holder) of it.
Producer – is the person or legal person that handles for and in the benefit of third parties or in his own interest with the promotion of the image or/and brand of a product or product category (with trading right) through various media.
Beneficiary – person or legal person who promotes in direct or indirect personal interest product brands or product categories, various services, company names, logos or other similar intellectual property rights.
Copy Advice can be offered for any media form and can be given in any creation stage of the commercial communication. Copy Advice can also be solicited for a commercial communication that was discussed by RAC’S Ethic Committee (“EC”), for those ulterior modifications to the initial communication, without being considered a reanalysis of RAC’s Ethic Committee.
Those who ask for Copy Advice must submit a written application to RAC’s Secretariat, in attention of the Executive Director. The commercial communication for which Copy Advice is asked must always be attached to the application, and should be written (hard copy) or in an electronic format. It is preferred that the version submitted to be as close as possible to the final version.
The application can also include any other documentation that can sustain the conformity of the communication discussed with the provisions of the Code. This documentation can also refer to the need to substantiate affirmations regarding product performance and to allow verification of accuracy of the affirmations, data, descriptions, illustrations and testimonials contained in the commercial message used, in conformity to articled 2, 3 and 5 of the RAC Code.
Copy Advice is offered by the Copy Advice Panel (“CAP”), composed of the following: RAC Executive Director, an expert – permanent member of CAP approved by the General Assembly, and one of the RAC's Ethic Committee ("EC") permanent members. When one of the EC permanent members is in temporary incapacity or can not offer consultancy, or is in conflict of interest, for a certain commercial communication submitted to Copy Advice, RAC’s Executive Director will ask for consultancy to one of the other available members.
The owner of the campaign addresses through a written form to RAC’s Executive Director, asking for Copy Advice.
The owner of the campaign sends to RAC’s Secretariat the commercial communication for which he is asking for an opinion (endorsed point of view), to be preferred in the closest stage to the final version.
Copy Advice Panel analyses the commercial communication submitted to Copy Advice. If necessary, the campaign’s/commercial communication’s owner can be asked for supplementary documentation. Also, if necessary, RAC’s Executive Director along with the two experts can initiate discussions with the campaign’s/commercial communication’s owner regarding the content of the concerned commercial communication.
RAC’s Executive Director formulates, within 3 (three) working days, an opinion based on the RAC Code. The documentation containing RAC’s opinion can be:
The documents presented by the solicitant are kept ONLY at RAC’s headquarters, in full confidentiality. Their administration/archiving shall be done only by RAC’s personnel.
The achievement of the Copy Advice service can not last longer than 3 (three) working consecutive days since the submission of the application.
RAC's Copy Advice fee is charged as follows:
- for members 5 free message analysis per year, and after that 200 euro/message;
- for non-members 200 euro/message.
RAC’s Copy Advice activity is, first of all, an educational and information activity, and, second of all, a professional consultancy activity.
RAC and it’s employees do not assume responsibility for the way the solicitant applies eventual recommendations or uses the commercial communication, for the further evolution of the commercial communication for which Copy Advice has been asked nor for the subsequent legislative changes, not being able to be held responsible for any eventual material claims (damage, unachieved profit, other expenses etc) or non-material of the solicitant or third parties regarding materials related to the commercial communication, for expenses incurred or generated by using or modification of the commercial communication in any form, including for negligence or guilt of the persons involved in the achievement of the Copy Advice service.
The opinion expressed is not, by itself, a certification of the commercial communication’s conformity with the provisions of the RAC Code.
Also, when offering Copy Advice, different authorities can interpret differently the legislation, interpretations that may not concur with RAC’s Copy Advice opinion for which, likewise, RAC is not of any kind and any nature responsible.
The final responsibility regarding the commercial communication remains to the owner, respectively the beneficiary himself.