The ICAS Charter
On 7 May 2021, members of the International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS) have adopted a Charter to strengthen advertising self-regulation globally by committing to enhance cooperation, coherence and consistency – for the benefit of global consumers and businesses.
To strive for effective self-regulation globally, ICAS members confirm in achieving:
- High standards: To put into place comprehensive and effective codes of advertising practices and/or high advertising standards, in compliance with applicable laws and fundamental rights;
- Universality and comprehensive coverage: To engage self-regulatory systems of all forms of commercial communications and bring together as many actors of the advertising industry as possible, including advertisers, agencies, media/publishers and platforms;
- Inclusivity and Openness: To regularly communicate with other interested parties such as civil society and public authorities and to involve them where appropriate and necessary;
- Independence: To set up and fund a self-regulatory body, an SRO, that administers and enforces the codes/standards independently from the government, specific interest groups and the advertising industry;
- Sustainable Funding: The advertising industry to ensure adequate and sustained funding proportionate to the advertising expenditure and/or market share in each country;
- Advice and Training: To provide advice (e.g. copy advice) and training to industry practitioners in order to raise awareness and standards;
- Effective and impartial dispute resolution: To provide a quick, efficient and impartial complaint resolution system. Non-compliance of industry actors should be subject to a staggered scale of sanctions;
- Monitoring and Evaluation: Where possible to proactively monitor industry compliance with applicable advertising codes, standards and/or the applicable advertising laws as well as to regularly evaluate the advertising codes and performance of the self-regulatory system to better reflect changes in technology or societal needs. Based on the identified issues to strive for a regular improvement of the advertising codes/standards or the self-regulatory system itself to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of advertising self-regulation;
- Technological innovation: To keep pace with changes in the media and the corresponding advertising landscapes in order to effectively regulate advertising, including online advertising. Where possible, to invest in improved technology including automation and artificial intelligence.
- Accountability and Transparency: To strive for a high awareness of the self-regulatory system by the industry, consumers and regulatory authorities and to communicate publicly in a transparent manner about the activities and enforcement actions of the self-regulatory system.