ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code

No. 892E

ISBN : 978-92-842-0528-8

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is uniquely positioned to provide insightful guidance on marketing and advertising around the globe. As the world business organization, whose membership is composed of thousands of enterprises from all sectors and regions, ICC has been a major rule-setter in marketing and advertising since 1937 when it issued the first ICC Code on Advertising Practice.

ICC’s Advertising and Marketing Communications Code – or the ICC Marketing Code – is a globally-applicable self-regulatory framework, developed by experts from all industry sectors worldwide. Since 1937, it has served as the cornerstone for most self-regulatory systems around the world, from the French ARPP Code to China’s Responsible Marketing Code. The Code is the backbone of the global advertising and marketing industry.

The ICC Marketing Code seeks to protect consumers by clearly setting out the ‘dos and don’ts’ for responsible marketing to ensure legal, honest, decent and truthful communications and practices. The Marketing Code sets high standards for a full range of marketing activities, including digital marketing communications with measures to protect children and consumer privacy.

ICC’s Commission on Marketing and Advertising brings together the world’s top experts on regulation, self-regulation and ethical best practices in marketing communications. This group, spanning companies of all sizes and sectors from every region of the world—in consultation with ICC’s national committees and industry associations—identifies marketing issues and concerns in consumer protection and develops the content of the ICC Marketing Code to address them.

The ICC Marketing Code functions within the framework of local, national or regional legislation, supplementing regulation in a complementary manner. The below map shows where self-regulation frameworks are either based on the ICC Marketing Code, national codes or remain non-existent.

  • 42 countries have or are developing national codes based on the ICC Marketing Code
  • 52 countries have advertising self-regulations

Code ISBN : 978-92-842-0528-8
Number of pages : 58
Publishing date : 2018-09-02
Language : English



Responsible advertising and marketing communications

10th Code Revision — significant changes


The Code and the law

Purpose of the Code

Code Structure and interaction with related codes

Scope and application

Cross-border communications — origin and jurisdiction


I. General provisions and definitions on advertising and marketing communications


Article 1 — Basic principles

Article 2 — Social responsibility

Article 3 — Decency

Article 4 — Honesty

Article 5 — Truthfulness

Article 6 — Substantiation

Article 7 — Identification and transparency

Article 8 — Identity of the marketer

Article 9 — Use of technical/scientific data and terminolog

Article 10 — Use of “free” and “guarantee”

Article 11 — Comparisons

Article 12 — Denigration

Article 13 — Testimonials

Article 14 — Portrayal or imitation of persons and references to personal property

Article 15 — Exploitation of goodwill

Article 16 — Imitation

Article 17 — Safety and health

Article 18 — Children and teens

Article 19 — Data protection and privacy

Article 20 — Transparency on cost of communication

Article 21 — Unsolicited products and undisclosed costs

Article 22 — Environmental behaviour

Article 23 — Responsibilit

Article 24 — Effect of subsequent redress for contravention

Article 25 — Implementation

Article 26 — Respect for self-regulatory decisions

II. Detailed Chapters

Chapter A: Sales Promotion

Scope of chapter A

Terms specific to sales promotion

Article A1 — Principles governing sales promotions

Article A2 — Terms of the offer

Article A3 — Presentation

Article A4 — Administration of promotions

Article A5 — Safety and suitability

Article A6 — Presentation to consumers

Article A7 — Presentation to intermediaries

Article A8 — Particular obligations of promoters

Article A9 — Particular obligations of intermediaries

Article A10 — Responsibility

Chapter B: Sponsorship

Scope of chapter B

Terms specific to sponsorshi

Article B1 — Principles governing sponsorship

Article B2 — Autonomy and self-determination

Article B3 — Imitation and confusion

Article B4 — “Ambushing” of sponsored properties

Article B5 — Respect for the sponsorship property and the sponsor

Article B6 — The sponsorship audience

Article B7 — Data capture/data sharing

Article B8 — Artistic and historical objects

Article B9 — Social and environmental sponsorship

Article B10 — Charities and humanitarian sponsorship

Article B11 — Multiple sponsorship

Article B12 — Media sponsorship

Article B13 — Responsibility

Chapter C: Direct Marketing and Digital Marketing Communications

Scope of chapter C .

Terms specific to direct marketing and digital marketing communications:


Article C1 — Identification and transparency

Article C2 — Identity of the marketer

Article C3 — The offer 

Article C4 — Presentation

Article C5 — High pressure tactics

Article C6 — Respect for public groups and review sites

INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (ICC) v Article C7 — Marketing communications and children

Article C8 — Respecting consumer wishes

Article C9 — Respecting consumer use of digital interactive media

Article C10 — Respect for the potential sensitivities of a global audience

Article C11 — Safety and health

Article C12 — Right of withdrawal 

Article C13 — After-sales service

Article C14 — Prices and credit terms

Article C15 — Unsolicited products 

Article C16 — Fulfilment of orders

Article C17 — Substitution of products

Article C18 — Return of faulty or damaged products

Article C19 — Payment and debt collection

Article C20 — Responsibility


Article C21 — Provisions for Telemarketing

Article C22 — Provisions for interest-based advertising (IBA)

Chapter D: Environmental Claims in Marketing Communications

Scope of chapter D

Article D1 — Honest and truthful presentation

Article D2 — Scientific research

Article D3 — Superiority and comparative claims

Article D4 — Product life-cycle, components and elements

Article D5 — Signs and symbols

Article D6 — Waste handling

Article D7 — Responsibility

Additional guidance 


Terms of Reference of the ICC Code Interpretation Panels 


Implementation Guide for the ICC Marketing Codes

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Publication