I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
- This Code of Ethics in Advertising, hereinafter referred to as “the Code”, constitutes a set of principles that should be obeyed by entrepreneurs, including especially advertisers and other legal and natural persons as well as organisational units without legal personality conducting advertising in the territory of the Republic of Poland.
- The source of standards contained in the Code of Ethics are generally accepted principles of ethics and good market practices, in particular standards of business ethics and ethical standards in marketing communications recommended by the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA).
- The Code does not constitute a set of standards replacing the compulsory legal regulations but only contains a set of principles imposing on the entities governed by the Code additional limitations irrespectively of the legal regulations in force.
- The activities to which the provisions of the Code apply shall be performed with due diligence, in accordance with the prevailing standards of decency, with a due sense of social responsibility, and should conform to the principles of fair competition.
- The parties to agreements applying to advertising can construct their mutual legal relations at their own discretion, provided that such relations are consistent with the Code.
The terms used in the Code shall have the following meanings:
a) advertisement – the message containing in particular information or a statement, especially made for a fee or remunerated otherwise, accompanying anybody’s activity which aims to increase the sale of products, to obtain another form of using the products, or to obtain another effect, desired by the advertiser. Advertisement shall also include sales promotion, offers intended to the recipients in the form of direct marketing, or sponsorship.
For the avoidance of doubt, advertising within the meaning of Code is not:
- a message aimed at promotion of socially desirable behaviours if it is not connected at the same time with promotion of the advertiser, the advertiser’s business or product, or products at the advertiser’s disposal;
- a message constituting an element of the electoral or referendum campaign, including the message with the content propagating the specific behaviours of the recipients during the elections or the referendum;
- a message, also of public nature, originating from an entity (e.g. a company, a foundation), required by the legal regulations in force or directed to such entity’s authorities, shareholders, or potential shareholders, in particular to the extent encompassing the factual, legal, and financial condition, and also to the extent of information concerning shares and other securities, deposit certificates, legitimisation signs or other participation units with respect to:(i) such an entity, (ii) entities directly or indirectly affiliated with such entity.
The above rules shall be used at interpretation of the provisions of the Code, including those which regulate the rules of sales promotion, direct marketing, sponsorship, and with respect to relations with the recipients and beneficiaries;
b) comparative advertisement or advertising of comparative nature – the advertisement which makes it possible to identify the competitor or competitor’s products or products at the competitor’s disposal in order to promote a different entity or its products or products at such entity’s disposal;
c) sponsorship – a type of advertisement created as a result of an agreement by which a sponsor, for the mutual benefit of the sponsor and sponsored party, contractually provides any support or co-support in order to establish a positive association between the sponsor’s image, the sponsor’s brands or other markings identifying the sponsor and the sponsor’s products and the sponsored event, activity, product or specific entity; within the meaning of the Code, sponsorship is not media patronage if it is limited exclusively to information on the specific event;
d) product – the object of advertising, including sales promotion, sponsorship or direct marketing, including but not limited to the effect of creative, commercial, or service providing activities;
e) recipient – the party which can get to know the advertisement;
f) beneficiary – the recipient to whom the given advertisement is addressed and who is the potential purchaser of the product or the recipient who has purchased the product after he has got to know the advertisement;
g) advertiser – the entity which – especially for a fee or for remuneration paid otherwise – has ordered an advertisement for execution, and the advertising message concerns such entity or such entity’s business or product, or products at such entity’s disposal;
h) promoter – the entity which in its own name or acting in the advertiser’s name organises the conduct of advertising, including but not limited to: the advertising campaign, sales promotion, sponsorship or campaign with the use of direct marketing. For the avoidance of doubt, if the promoter acts in its own name, it is at the same time the advertiser within the meaning of the Code;
i) operator – the entity participating in the process of distribution or sale of products between the advertiser and the beneficiary;m;
j) media – entities which provide – for a fee or free of charge – the advertising distribution service by any technology of distribution in particular: publication, broadcasting using audio or video, exposure or using direct marketing methods;
k) special call – telephone/fax call or sending a text/multimedia message the cost of which is different than arising from the normal telephone tariff in force for typical calls;eniach typowych;
l) preference list – the list of consumers who have registered their wish not to receive unsolicited marketing messages (e.g. so-called “Robinson List”);
ł) children – persons who are aged less than 13 years, and thus are not competent to perform legal acts;
m) young people – persons who are at least 13 years of age but not older than 18 years of age;
n) data – results of studies, sales results, and all other statistical data used in the advertisement;
o) Union of Associations Advertising Council (Advertising Council) – the union of associations within the meaning of Associations Law registered in Warsaw.
III. BASIC PRINCIPLES OF ADVERTISING
Advertisements should not contain any form of discrimination, in particular that based upon race, religion, sex or national origin.
Advertisements should not contain any elements encouraging to acts of violence.
Without justifiable reasons based, for example, on social grounds and prophylaxis, advertisements should not motivate for purchase of a product by taking advantage of misfortunes or by causing anxiety or fear.
Advertisements should not be operated in such a way as to endanger artistic or historical objects.
Advertisements should not abuse the trust of the recipient or exploit his lack of experience or knowledge.
Advertiser, promoter, operator and media, each of them only within the scope of its advertising-related activities, will obey the rule, that every recipient of advertising made or distributed with his participation should be able to identify, that particular message is an advertisement.
1. Advertisements should not mislead their recipients, in particular with regard to:
a) important characteristics such as nature, composition, method and date of manufacture, range of use, quantity, origin (also geographical) of the advertised item;
b) value of the product and the total price actually to be paid for the product as well as other payment conditions like instalment sales, leasing, credit sales, bargain sales;
c) terms of delivery, exchange, return, repair and maintenance;
d) guarantee terms;
e) intellectual and industrial property rights such in particular patents, names, trademarks, and industrial designs and models;
f) official permits or approvals, awards, prizes, medals, and diplomas;
g) the extent of the entrepreneur’s benefits for charitable causes.
2. Data as well as scientific terms, quotations from technical or scientific publications not considered data within the meaning of the Code, used in advertisements, must indicate their source and cannot be used in a misleading manner. The data must be presented correctly from the methodological point of view. Presentation of statistical data must in particular take into account the rules of statistical inference, including the phenomenon of statistical error.
1. Comparative advertisements are acceptable if they serve the purpose of intensifying competition and public information. Nevertheless, they should not mislead the advertising recipients.
2. All references in comparative advertisements must be presented methodologically correctly, including but not limited to information on products, commercial offers, and data.
3. Comparative advertisements should be used to compare goods satisfying the same demands or manufactured for the same purpose.
4. Comparative advertisements may compare one or more characteristics if such characteristics are verifiable. Price may be one of such characteristics.
5. Comparative advertisements should not be likely to mislead the consumers as to the goods offered, trademarks, trade names or other distinguishing elements.ń.
6. Advertisements cannot in an unjustified manner inconsistent with the provisions of the Code, and in particular with the content of Article 11 paragraphs 1, 2 and 5 hereof use the full or abbreviated corporate name, name, graphic symbol name or other individualising marks legally belonging to another entity, and use the good name of such an entity. Comparative advertisements, by means of expression used in them, can not discredit or humiliate the competitor and competitor-related circumstances, by presenting him or his product in an unfavourable way.
1. Advertisements should not portray or refer to any natural person, including a person generally known in connection, for example, with performing by such person public functions, without obtaining such person’s prior consent, and should not describe or refer to a property of a specific person without such person’s consent, in a way likely to convey the impression of the personal endorsement by such person.
2. The provisions of paragraph 1 above shall apply per analogy to entities other than natural persons.
If the advertisement contains information on a guarantee in extent and within the meaning contained in legally binding terms of sale, it must be available at a point of sale or enclosed with the product and will be transferred to the beneficiary.
Presentation of instalment sale, the credit terms or other forms of consumers’ credit must be so framed as not to raise doubts concerning the actual final price of the advertised item, including the amount of cash payment, the amount of advance payment, the interest rate, the credit instalment repayment dates, and other conditions related to that kind of sale.
Advertisements informing on money loan offers should not contain any statements likely to mislead the recipients, in particular as to their kind, indispensable security, repayment dates, actual interest costs, and any other possible fees.
Advertisements referring to savings or investing methods cannot contain any statements likely to mislead the recipients in particular with respect to the estimated future income, factors affecting the level of such income, and the possible tax reductions.
Advertisements which my make the recipient believe it is not necessary to pay for the product if such product is not actually available free of charge cannot be used.
1. Advertisements of franchisers searching for franchisees should not, directly or by implication, mislead as to the scope of help provided, potential payment, work contribution and essential financial assets. The franchiser’s full name and permanent address should be stated.
2. The provisions of paragraph 1 above shall be applicable to advertisements aimed at entering into legal or factual relations with the nature similar in effects to franchise.
Advertisements of products which used in a proper way may cause real danger should clearly point out the potential danger related to their use.
The data, recommendations, commercial offers, information, or clarifications concerning the product should be appropriately documented. The documents should be made available on the beneficiary’s demand.
Advertisements should not promote attitudes that question the rights of animals. Advertisements containing image of animals should be self-restrained, so animals are not portrayed in a way that suggests non-humanitarian treatment of them.
IV. ADVERTISEMENT ADDRESSED TO CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
The value of the products offered in advertisements addressed to children or young people cannot be indicated in the manner which will make children or young people incorrectly perceive their actual value, e.g. by using in an inappropriate context such expressions and words as “only”, “little”. The advertisements cannot also suggest that the product is available for any household budget.
Advertisement addressed to children or young people cannot contain any statements which may constitute a health or safety hazard.
According to Article 8 and Article 10 advertisement addressed to children or young people cannot exploit their natural credulity and lack of experience.
Advertisement addressed to children or young people must take into account the degree of their development and cannot be a hazard to their further physical, mental or moral development.
Advertisement addressed to children or young people cannot suggest that the possession or use of the product will ensure to them social or psychological advantage over others and the failure to possess such product will have the opposite effect.
Advertisement addressed to children or young people cannot undermine the authority of parents or of other persons with legal custody, question their responsibility, opinion, tastes, or favourites. The above limitation shall not be applicable to the cases of counteracting social pathologies.
1. In the case of advertisements addressed to children special care should be taken to ensure that it does not mislead the recipients as to the true size, value, nature, durability, appearance, and technical potential of the advertised item, e.g.:
a) if accessories (e.g. batteries) are necessary for using the product or an additional material (e.g. paint) is necessary for achieving the result shown or described, this should be made clear.
b) if the advertisement is applicable to separately sold products, this should be unequivocally stated.
c) advertisements cannot diminish the physical skills required to use the product; where the results and the method of use of the advertised item are presented without any clear reservation, then the presented result should be attainable for an average child at the age range for which the product is intended.
Advertisements cannot contain (i) orders to persuade adult persons to purchase the advertised items or, (ii) the instruction of how to persuade adult persons to purchase the advertised items, directly addressed to children or young people.
If necessary due to security reasons, both advertisements as well as products addressed to children or young people must contain express information for which age group the product is intended.
Sales promotion, direct marketing, or sponsored vents addressed to children or young people must be consistent with the respective principles stipulated in the Code, and in particular with the provisions of this Chapter.
Articles 22-31 apply accordingly also to advertisements, which are not directly targeted at children, but children are their recipients due to the form, place and method of presentation. This applies particularly to advertisements broadcasted close to children’s programming, advertisements shown in cinemas before children’s movies and to outdoor advertising.
V. ADVERTISEMENTS CONTAINING ECOLOGICAL INFORMATIONAMA ZAWIERAJĄCA INFORMACJE EKOLOGICZNE
Advertisements cannot undermine public trust in correctly performed activities undertaken within the framework of natural environment protection.
Advertisements cannot exploit the lack of knowledge of their recipients in the area of natural environment protection.
Advertisements cannot contain a message which might mislead the consumers as to environmental protection, including but not limited to through misleading information on characteristics of products or on activities undertaken by the advertiser for environmental protection. Advertisements of entrepreneurs related to specific products or actions cannot without justified grounds extend the advertising effect in the area of natural environment protection to the whole business of the advertiser.
An environmental claim must relate to the characteristics of the advertised product and must refer to such characteristics of such product that exist throughout the product life or periodically, but in the latter case the advertisement must inform the recipient thereof.
Advertisements containing general phrases such as “environmentally friendly” or “ecologically safe” cannot be misleading. The information indicating the precise effect of the product in this area must be available at the point of sale, enclosed to the product or shall be presented to the beneficiary in a publicly accessible way.
1. When advertisements refer to the reduction the quantity (number) of components or elements having an environmental impact, such information cannot be misleading. The information indicating the precise positive effect of the product in this area must be true and available at the point of sale or enclosed to the product and shall be presented to the beneficiary.
2. Advertising claims cannot refer to the absence of components, features or impacts that are not applicable to the given product category.
3. An advertising claim of “…free”, or of the same effect, should only be made when the level of the specified substance does not exceed that of an acknowledged trace contaminant or background level.
4. Environmental signs or symbols should only be used when the source of origin (granting or appointing) these signs or symbols is clearly indicated in advertisement, and there is no confusion over their meaning. Such signs and symbols should not falsely suggest that their presence is related to a decision of a government administration authority, local government authority, or other institutions the activity of which is connected with natural environment protection.
Environmental claims referring to waste handling are acceptable provided that the recommended method of separation, collection, processing or disposal is available for a significant part of the beneficiaries. Otherwise, the extent and method of obtaining access to the above-described methods should be indicated.
Sponsorship and sponsorship-related agreements must be performed in the manner which is easy to be read and understood by unrelated persons as to their nature, and in particular they should indicate all the interested parties and the content of their liabilities to the sponsor.
Information on sponsorship originating from the sponsor or the sponsored of the given event must be clearly formulated and cannot violate the prevailing standards of decency.
Sponsorship should never be operated in such a way as to endanger artistic or historical objects.
Sponsorship-related operations cannot be misleading as to the sponsored entity, brand or other identification of the sponsored, in particular where the sponsored event is presented on the radio or television.
The sponsored event cannot have a negative impact on natural environment. Therefore, any message coming from the sponsored person or the sponsor, and related to environmental protection should be truthful.
VII. DIRECT MARKETING
1. Direct marketing activities, including the offers related to direct marketing, should be carried out so as to be understandable for the beneficiary. In particular, the beneficiary should always be able to identify the advertised product and the terms of the offer, including the price.
2. The beneficiary of an offer delivered within the framework of direct marketing should always be able to identify such offer as an advertisement. An offer may easily be mistaken for a bill or an invoice should not be made.
3. An offer delivered within the framework of direct marketing must clearly indicate what liabilities will be imposed on the beneficiary upon offer acceptance.
4. The information transferred within the framework of direct marketing, which has an effect on the beneficiary’s decision (e.g. payment terms, making returns, and waivers of the agreement), must be transferred in such a manner and within such time to make it possible for the beneficiary to take such information into account before accepting the offer.
5. No products for which a payment is requested without prior ordering of such products can be offered within the framework of direct marketing.
1. An offer delivered within the framework of direct marketing cannot be misleading in particular with respect to the true sizes, value, nature, durability, appearance, and technical potential of the product advertised, and if:
a) additional accessories are necessary for: (i) using the product or (ii) obtaining the described or demonstrated effect, this must be clearly stated,
b) the offer is applicable to separately sold products, this should be unequivocally stated.
2. If an offer delivered within the framework of direct marketing contains a proposal of, for example, “free examination” or “free trial” of a product, then the offer must contain the terms of such use, including but not limited to the information on who bears the costs of product return and time limitations in its use.
3. An offer delivered within the framework of direct marketing must contain information on when the seller and the advertiser may be contacted so as to enable the beneficiary to directly and effectively contact them. At the moment of delivery of the product the beneficiary must be informed on complete names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the seller and the advertiser.
1. Within the framework of direct marketing, offers must be made so as to respect the privacy of the beneficiary.
2. If personal data are collected within the framework of direct marketing, the beneficiary must be clearly informed thereof, with indication of the scope of processing of such data. The collection, storage, and use of data must be compliant with the Personal Data Protection Act.
3. The beneficiary of offers received within the framework of direct marketing, including but not limited to offers received with the use of addressed mails, non-addressed prints, telephones, telephone text and multimedia messages (e.g. SMSs, MMSs, etc.), faxes, e-mail or other methods of addressed online communications must be able to verify the sender of such an offer, and where applicable also the source from which the beneficiary’s data originate.
4. The promoter must comply with beneficiaries’ demands if they wish not to receive offers delivered within the framework of direct marketing, including but not limited to addressed mails, non-addressed prints, telephones, telephone text and multimedia messages (e.g. SMSs, MMSs, etc.), faxes, e-mail or other methods of addressed online communications, by cessation of delivery of such offers. The beneficiary may express his will not to receive the mails from the specific promoter by transferring to such promoter the respective request. The beneficiary may also express his wish not to receive the mails of the specific type by registering himself on the appropriate preference list or by displaying at the place of delivery of mails the information on such request.
1. Outgoing telemarketing conducted within the framework of direct marketing cannot be carried out between 9 pm and 8 am and on statutory holidays, unless the beneficiary expressly wanted a call at that time.
2. When an offer is made within the framework of direct marketing on the phone, the beneficiary must be informed at the beginning of the call on the forename and surname of his caller and on the advertiser’s name. On demand, the beneficiary must obtain information on the name and telephone number at which the caller and the advertiser may be contacted.
3. If special calls are used within the framework of direct marketing, the beneficiary must be previously informed on the tariff applied for such a call.
VIII. SALES PROMOTION
1. Sales promotions cannot be developed and conducted so as to mislead the recipients.
2. Neither the design nor the implementation of a promotion should be such as to provoke, or to appear to condone, aggressive or illegal behaviour, and cannot otherwise be inconsistent with the social coexistence principles. Moreover, they cannot encourage practices contrary to the public interest.
Sales promotions should be so framed as not to abuse the trust of the recipients and not to exploit their possible lack of experience or knowledge.
Sales promotions should be so devised as to make it easy for the beneficiary to identify clearly the terms of the offer. Care should be taken not to exaggerate the value of the additional benefit and the price of the main product should not be concealed by the promotional activity.
Sales promotions should be administered with adequate resources and supervision methods. In particular, the sales promoter should make sure that the availability of the additional benefits is adequate to allow demand to be honoured within a reasonable time. If delay is inevitable, the beneficiaries should be so advised, and if necessary actions should be undertaken which shall result in adjustment of the advertising concerning the offer.
1. When organising sales promotions, the right of privacy of each entity should be respected. No additional liabilities not arising from the sales promotions rules can be imposed on such entities.
2. If as a result of the sales promotion organised personal data of natural persons are collected, then the beneficiary should be clearly informed thereof, with indication of the scope of processing of such data. The collection, storage, and use of data must be compliant with the Personal Data Protection Act.
Sales promotions should be designed and conducted with proper regard to appropriate standards of safety to the extent necessary for protection of the beneficiaries participating in such promotions against health damage.
The presentation of sales promotions should allow participants, before making any required purchase, to be informed of the rules of such promotion if they can affect their decision to purchase the relevant product. In particular, the presentation should include, where applicable:
a) clear instructions on the method of making use of, or obtaining, the promotional offer, e.g. conditions for obtaining free gifts or premiums;
b) general characteristics of the additional benefits offered;
c) time limitations for using the promotional offer;
d) any limitation as to the geographical area, age, quantity (number) of promoted items or other additional benefits available, or any other limitations on quantity.
e) the value of any voucher or stamp offered where a monetary alternative is available;
f) expenditure involved, including costs of shipping, handling and the terms of payment;
g) the full name and address of the promoter and an address to which complaints can be directed if different from the address of the promoter.
1. Where the sales promotion includes a competition, in addition to the information required by Article 55 above, the following information should be given or at least be made available on request and unconditional on purchase of the main product, prior to participation:
a) rules governing eligibility to participate in the competition;
b) all costs associated with participation known to the promoter, and where applicable also information on the rates used (e.g. for special calls);
c) number, value and nature of prizes to be awarded and whether a cash alternative may be substituted for a prize;
d) in the case of a skill contest, the nature of the contest and the criteria for judging the entries;
e) method of selecting the winners and the prize;
f) closing date of the competition;
g) when and how the results will be announced;
h) whether the beneficiary may be liable to pay tax as a result of winning a prize;
i) time period during which prizes may be collected;
j) how the jury is selected;
k) the composition of the jury, on announcement of the results at the latest;
l) any intention to use winners or winning contribution in post-event activities.
2. If the sales promotion includes a lottery, the provisions of paragraph 1 above shall be applicable to the lottery, respectively, where applicable.
1. The promoter should always obtain the prior agreement of the operator if the promoter inter alia intends to:
a) invite the employees of the operator to assist in any sales promotion;
b) propose (offer) to such employees any benefits of value or obtaining any benefits of value for such employees’ assistance or for any sales achievements in connection with any sales promotion.
2. If the offer referred to in paragraph 1 above is addressed to a wide circle of recipients it must contain clear instruction that employees must obtain their employer’s permission before they accept such offer.
Sales promotions which require active co-operation by the operator and its employees cannot adversely affect the performance of any existing contractual obligations of such operator.
Sales promotions which have been accepted by the operator should be fairly and honestly handled, and properly administered by the operator (operator’s employees).
1. Sales promotions involving any specific responsibility on the part of the intermediary should be so handled by him/her that no misinterpretation is likely to arise in particular as to the terms, value, limitations or availability of the offer subject to the sales promotion.
2. In particular, the operator should adhere to the plan and conditions of the promotion as laid down by the promoter. No changes of the agreed arrangements, e.g. alteration to the time-limit, should be made by the operator without the prior agreement of the promoter.
1. Sales promotions containing comparisons should be so designed that the comparison is not likely to mislead, and should comply with other principles of fair competition.
2. Points of comparison should be based on verifiable facts and should not be unfairly selected. Article Art 11 of the Code shall be applicable per analogy.
IX. FINAL PROVISIONS
The entry into effect, the interpretation, the supervision over adherence to, giving opinion in matters of compliance with and amendments to the Code are within the exclusive competence of the respective bodies of the Advertising Council, in accordance with the content of its Articles of Association and the Rules of Procedure in force.
1. Each entity, except for the recipients and beneficiaries of advertisements, should comply with the provisions of the Code to the extent to which they have been directed to such entity. The above obligation shall be applicable in particular to advertisers, promoters, persons acting for their benefit within the framework of authorisation to represent them or to take decisions in their name, operators, and media, except for the responsibility referred to in paragraph 2 below.
2. The advertiser or the promoter shall bear the ultimate responsibility for all aspects of advertisements, irrespectively of their type or contents.
3. Verifiable evidence indispensable for determining the consistency of advertisements, including sales promotion, sponsorship and direct marketing with the provisions of the Code should be available and presented on demand of the respective body of the Advertising Council.
The titles of Chapters of the Code are provided only for organisational and ordering purposes. In particular, they cannot constitute the legal basis at interpreting the individual provisions of the Code.
Additional requirements for beer advertising are contained in Appendix 1 entitled “Beer advertising standards”.
In matters unregulated in the Code, the general legal regulations shall be applicable, respectively. The provisions of the Code regulating the specific matter differently than the respective legal regulations do not discharge the entities referred to in Article 63 (1) hereof from compliance with such legal regulations.
Appendix no 1 – Beer Advertising Standards
Scope of Application
This Appendix shall govern all advertising related to beer publicized within the Republic of Poland or addressed to Polish beer consumers.
The scope of the marketing message of the beer advertising is determined by the definitions of advertising , comparative advertising and sponsoring contained in art. 3 a) – c) of the (further: “advertising” or “beer advertising”)
Requirements regarding the contents and form of advertising
- All advertising shall abide by laws and regulations effective in the territory of the Republic of Poland.
- Beer advertising should follow the rules contained in the Code of Ethics in Advertising and the provisions of this appendix.
- The provisions of chapter IV of the Code of Ethics in Advertising do not apply to beer advertising.
- Beer advertising may not use images, symbols, persons and topics, which can be regarded as offensive, derogatory or humiliating.
- Beer advertising may not cause offence to prevalent religious norms.
Beer advertising may not encourage aggressive or anti-social behaviour.
Beer advertising may not use or promote sexual promiscuity, consent to sex or nudity, nor suggest that beer consumption can have a positive influence on sexual performance.
Beer advertising may not create the image of beer as a means of overcoming life’s problems.
Beer advertising may not present beer consumption in circumstances which are commonly regarded as irresponsible, inappropriate or in breach of law, in particular before or during any course of action which requires sobriety.
Beer advertising may not:
- present or encourage irresponsible or excessive consumption of beer;
- present intoxicated people or in any way suggest that state of intoxication is a state socially approved;
- encourage consumers to prefer a given beverage due to its ability to create intoxication;
- suggest that consumption of beer with lower alcohol content does not lead to alcohol abuse;
- present refusal to consume alcohol or consumption in moderate quantities in a negative light.
Protection of Children
Beer advertising may not be addressed at people under the age of 18 years, in any way whatsoever, be it through its contents or the method of publicizing. In this context, it does not apply to beer advertising the content of chapter IV “Advertisement addressed to children and young people”.
Neither beer producers, nor their representatives, nor their agencies may make any payments or provide any benefits whatsoever for advertising which is mainly aimed at persons under the age of 18 years and is meant to be publicly distributed in the Republic of Poland. This provision shall apply also to messages and product placement contained in films.
Beer advertising may not:
- contain images of people who are less than 25 years old;
- use images of people or figures which influence minors in a special way;
- suggest that beer is essential to becoming an adult or to achieve success in work or areas of social activity.
Protection of Health
Beer advertising may not:
- suggest that beer has healing properties or prevents illnesses;
- suggest that beer has properties of a stimulating, anaesthetic or sedative drug;
- present pregnant women or breastfeeding women.
Appendix no 2 Standards of Food Advertising aimed at children
Food advertising may not be aimed directly at children under 12 years of age.
Restrictions on food advertising do not apply to products which meet certain nutritional criteria based on accepted scientific evidence and/or national and international nutrition recommendations contained, in particular, in Appendix 2a to the Code of Ethics in Advertising “Nutrition Criteria to the Self-Regulation Concerning Food Advertising Aimed at Children under 12 Years of Age in Poland”.
Any type of advertising is considered to be aimed at children if, in the planned target group in the media used, children under 12 years of age represent at least 35 percent of the group.
Food advertising may not be carried out in any form in primary schools.
No type of food advertising aimed at children may:
a) promote or present unhealthy eating habits or unhealthy lifestyle in the form of eating and drinking in an immeasurable, excessive or coercive manner, or promote a sedentary lifestyle,
b) discredit the importance of healthy eating habits, a varied and balanced diet and physical activity,
c) contain direct exhortations to children to purchase the advertised products through the use of such phrases as: “buy now”, “you must have it”,
d) appeal to the child to persuade the child’s parents to buy the advertised product,
e) mislead as to the characteristics of the promoted product and the benefits of its use,
f) imply that the product in question has some special dietary characteristics if all similar products have similar characteristics,
g) arouse fear by providing descriptions of violence or overly aggressive elements,
h) encourage the use of the food product in an inappropriate or unsafe manner.
Within the meaning of this Code, advertising is not the use of a company or product name, logo of the company or product in educational campaigns aimed at promoting healthy eating habits and physical activity among children and young people. The content of such campaigns must comply with national and/or international recommendations on nutrition and physical activity. Such campaigns at school may only be conducted with the consent of the school authorities.
Appendix no 2a to Code of Ethics in Advertising
This document defines the criteria for nutritional voluntary initiative on the principles for food and beverage advertising, targeting children under the age of twelve, published in media in Poland.
The proposed criteria were approved by the Institute of Food and Nutrition – Poland’s leading research institution, with which competence includes issues related to food, nutrition and their impact on health.
According to the Institute, it is necessary to take action to reduce the intake of fat, saturated fatty acids, trans-fatty acids, sugars and salt, by restricting the advertising of certain foods aimed at children under 12 years of age and to promote reformulation of food composition.
In the opinion of the Institute, criteria established for the nutritional assessment of food products in terms of the possibility of advertising to children under 12 years of age, as a voluntary initiative of food producers, is valuable. This initiative fits perfectly into the current activities to reduce overweight and obesity among the youngest part of the Polish public and to promote proper nutrition.
According to the overarching principle expressed in the Polish Code of Advertising Standards (Annex 2 Standards of food advertising to children), advertising of food products cannot be addressed directly to children who have not attained the age of 12, assuming that these children account for 35% or more of the audience of the broadcast. This rules do not apply to products that meet certain nutritional criteria based on accepted scientific evidence and/or national and international dietary recommendations .
Nutritional criteria have been developed in order to clarify the criteria by which food products are to be advertised to children under the age of 12. Criteria will allow both advertisers and broadcasters to easily assess products for compliance with the self-regulation. Nutritional criteria are based on an approach on the distribution of food products in the categories using the threshold values for key nutrients. Such an approach reflects better the role that different categories of foods and beverages play in the average diet, than the use of a universal profile. This approach also introduces a distinction between different food products within a given category, and thus allows it to achieve the fundamental objective to limit the types of food and beverage products advertised to children, while promoting competition in the development of healthier options through innovation and change recipes.
Nutritional criteria contain ten defined categories of products produced or sold on the Polish market. Selection of categories is dictated by the need to maintain a balance between the simplicity and a consistent treatment of similar products on the one hand, and on the other – the need to avoid creating categories so broad that only a relatively mild nutritional criteria could be applied to all kinds of products falling within this category. In order to ensure both the reliability of the system, as well as fair treatment, it was necessary to create subcategories within most of these ten categories.
Common nutritional criteria are based on a set of “nutrient ingredients that need to be limited” and “ingredients which presence should be promoted ” (nutrients and categories of food). The system takes into account both criteria and is consistent with the fundamental goal of self-regulation, that is the promotion of innovation, change recipes and competition in order to bring a change for advertising of healthier options – than a system based solely on “nutrient demanding constraints” .
“Nutrients requiring limitations” – sodium, saturated fats and sugars – were selected on the basis of publicly available evidence that they are important from a public health perspective because their average consumption in the population often exceeds the recommended or desirable for health. What is important – in the criteria adopted nutritional “components whose presence should be promoted” do not constitute a counterweight to the “nutrient demanding limitations”: to be able to advertise the product to children under twelve years of age , the product must contain the required amount of “ingredients whose presence must be promoted “and also lower than the threshold value “of nutrients requiring constraint” and have the energy value lower than the maximum fixed for each category.
In developing nutrition criteria , the recommendations of the World Health Organization ( WHO) were taken into consideration to determine the nutrient profiles. In line with these recommendations, nutritional criteria should be subject to appropriate adjustment to the new research. Accordingly, an update in the future, will possibly also take into account categories of products that are not currently represented in nutritional criteria.
In the framework of the guidelines, there are categories of food products for which does not provide any criteria for advertising to children under 12 years of age.
This applies to the following categories of food:
1. Sugar and sugar-based products, comprising:
– Chocolate and chocolate products,
– Jam or marmalade,
– Non-chocolate candy and other sugar products
2. Non-alcoholic drinks;
3. Potato chips and potato-based snacks, including products made from dough;
This reflects the existing voluntary commitments of food industry and is a confirmation that such products will not be advertised to children under 12 years of age.
The proposed criteria do not apply to food intended for particular nutritional uses, composition of which is regulated by the Regulation of the Minister of Health of 16 September 2010 on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional criteria based on accepted scientific evidence. Children under the age of 3 are not recipients of advertising, and their dietary habits are shaped by parents in consultation with specialists in the field of nutrition and care of infants and young children .
11. Categories of food products for which criteria, for advertising to children under 12 years of age when they are more than 35% of the broadcast audience, were not provided:
1. Sugar and sugar-based products, comprising:
– Chocolate and chocolate products,
– Jam or marmalade,
– Non-chocolate candy and other sugar products
2. Non-alcoholic drinks;
3. Potato chips and potato-based snacks, including products made from dough;
Appendix No 3
Charter for the protection of children in advertising
( Self-regulatory act – annex 3 to code of ethics in advertising )
Article 1 The purpose of the Charter is to specify terms that should be met in order to properly protect the interest of children, in particular those up to 12 years old, in marketing communication. The terms are in line with the Broadcasting Act of 29 December 1992 [Dz.U. (Journal of Laws) of 1993 No. 7, item 34 as amended], hereinafter referred to as the Act, in particular with Article 18(1), (3) and (5) of the Act.
Article 2 The signatories of the Charter are aware of the fact that an advertising message may provide children with new knowledge and skills, positive values as well as convictions about the world and people, but it can also pose certain threats, the more so as:
- using Internet contents and watching TV, including advertising messages, is one of the main activities performed by children in their free time,
- using an image of a child in order to enhance the effectiveness of an advertisement can increase the probability of exposing young advertising audience to risks associated with both messages addressed directly to them as well as commercials using child images, but addressed to adults,
- the use of child actors in commercials intensifies their impact, especially on children.
Article 3 Signatories of the Charter will strive to protect children as addressees of advertising messages, as well as limit unnecessary exposure of child actors starring in commercials that are not related to the nature of a product or the concept of an advertising message.
ADVERTISING PRODUCTS OR SERVICES WHERE CHILDREN MAY BE INDIRECT RECIPIENTS
Article 4 The signatories of the Charter shall do their best to ensure that advertising messages addressed to children and advertising messages that are not addressed directly to them, but, due to their form, place and manner of presentation, are watched by children, do not include contents that might have a negative impact on their development.
Article 5 Signatories of the Charter, acting in accordance with the provisions of Article 16b(2)-(5), which prohibit broadcasting of commercial messages
- that encourage children to sustain pressure on parents or other persons in order to persuade them to purchase the advertised products or services;
- that take advantage of children’s confidence in parents, teachers and other people;
- showing children in dangerous situations unreasonably;
- having a hidden impact on the subconscious.
Declare that commercials addressed to children due to their contents, form, communication channel and manner of presentation will not contain, in particular:
- contents that may pose a threat to their health or safety,
- scenes showing physical or mental abuse,
- scenes showing family problems (e.g. neglecting a child, a child acting as an adult, a negative attitude of a child towards adults, including parents),
- a message that directly or indirectly undermines the authority of parents and legal guardians as well as their effort put in exercising the parental authority or taking care of children, in particular that depicts the exercise of the authority or custody as a negative phenomenon, contrary to the child’s welfare.
- scenes encouraging conflicts in any form (child-peers, child-parents and child-institutions),
- scenes showing threat (e.g. dangerous games or accidents), unless the purpose of the presentation is to promote the protective function of a product,
- a motif of excessive consumption and a consumerist lifestyle as a key value in life, taking into account the nature of a message such as a TV commercial,
- a message that suggests, directly or indirectly, that fun and entertainment does not involve any responsibility and limitations or precludes such responsibility or limitations.
- discriminatory contents, in particular due to race, sex, nationality, religious beliefs or disability,
- a message that uses, directly or indirectly, sexual innuendoes, including the use of sexual jokes and a hidden sexual meaning of individual words, or presents a false picture of sex and a sexual relationship, exclusively as an element of fun and entertainment,
- an image of a child persistently extorting shopping and other decisions on adults,
- promotion of negative models of generally unacceptable behaviour
- promotion of products that do not meet the criteria of other self-regulations of broadcasters, in particular the “Agreement between TV broadcasters on the principles of distributing commercials and sponsor references concerning food products or drinks containing ingredients whose presence in excessive amounts in a daily diet is not recommended”.
CHILD ACTORS IN COMMERCIALS
Article 6 The signatories of the Code undertake to obey, at all stages of creating and distributing advertising messages, the following principles:
- the use of a child image in commercials advertising products or services that are not associated with children’s everyday life and activities should be limited by means of a thorough analysis of legitimacy
- children starring in a commercial should be presented in a friendly social environment, especially family and peers
- a child image cannot be treated in a commercial like an object in order to tout products and suggest other children or their parents that they should buy it.
Article 7 The signatories of the Charter shall do their best to ensure that child characters do not appear in commercials in the following contexts:
- acceptance of social stigmatization of a person and taunting as a model of socialization,
- contents debatable in terms of education (associations with alcohol consumption, references to sex life etc.),
- extreme fetishization of a product as the only remedy for a child’s problems and vital needs,
- imitating adults’ behaviours that are not appropriate from the point of view of children’s development needs.
Article 8 The following shall be avoided in the process of producing commercials with child actors:
- any threats to their health or safety
- their exposure to severe stress
- using a model character in the narrative of a commercial that might ridicule a child actor
- exposure to contents inappropriate at a given development phase
- situations leading to a distorted perception of the reality, e.g. if very young children star in commercials having an extremely fantastic plot
- situations causing fears, typical for social commercials warning against dangerous situations.