Advertising and its regulations

The emergence of new media and new technologies is transforming the world of advertising and marketing, revolutionizing the way the industry conducts its business. However, this new way of advertising must also abide by a series of rules and principles that ensure respect for each person, group and ecosystem. But who is responsible for regulating these standards? Who says that a creative campaign is valid and ethical?

Each country has its own series of laws and principles that regulate advertising. Advertising activities must be adjusted to these laws. In Chile there is the Chilean Code of Advertising Ethics as well as the Consumer Protection Law No. 19496; both are in charge of regulating advertising itself, as well as establishing and sanctioning what is called misleading advertising.

Chilean code of advertising ethics

The Chilean Code of Advertising Ethics is based on the norms of the International Code of Advertising Practices of the International Chamber of Commerce of Paris, with the extensions and modifications proposed by said Associations. This Code applies to all forms of advertising communication (whatever the medium used) and establishes a set of ethical conduct standards that safeguard the interest of the public and promote standards of sound competition. These must be respected by all those who are related to advertising, whether as advertisers, advertising agencies or publicists and whose activity may have substantial effects in the country, regardless of the place where it is designed, developed or carried out and the nationality of the company involved in it.

This Code of self-regulation of advertising and commercial communications is applied throughout the Chilean territory by the Council for Self-Regulation and Advertising Ethics (CONAR), and internationally; for him Council of Marketing Practices of the International Chamber of Commerce of Paris, when appropriate. It should be noted that CONAR is not a government organization, it is a private, non-profit corporation, founded and maintained by the main participants in Chilean advertising (advertising companies, advertising agencies and the media).

About misleading advertising

Every consumer expects advertising campaigns to convey honest and truthful information that does not mislead, lie, or omit important information. As well as allowing you to facilitate the choice of a product or service with respect to others existing in the market. The Chilean Code of Advertising Ethics indicates the following about misleading advertising:

A misleading advertising is one that induces, can lead to error or confusion, and may affect consumers or competitors, through exaggerations, ambiguities, fallacies, sophisms or omissions regarding the characteristics, advantages, benefits, suitability, prices, guarantees, actual performance of the advertised product or service, its relationship with the environment, or in any other way.

Therefore, an advertisement is considered deceptive advertising that: (1) attributes to a product or service characteristics that it does not possess, (2) promises benefits, results or effects that it cannot fulfill; (3) that it does not deliver the guarantees offered, (4) that unlike what is advertised produces damage to the environment or quality of life and (5) produces confusion regarding the identity of the company that offers the product, using brands or distinctive signs of competitors. Example, the Chinese shoe brand "Nkie" or "Corgste" toothpaste.

Advertising and its regulations
Corgste toothpaste made by Guangzhou Shiyadan Cosmetics. Image credit: @marialejandracp
Advertising and its regulations - colgate
Colgate Max Fresh Cooling Cristals Toothpaste made by Colgate-Palmolive Company

Other standards

According to Chilean Code of Advertising Ethics An advertising campaign must not:

  • Disrespecting the brand, products or services, advertised by a competitor.

  • Contain messages that offend the moral or decency concepts that prevail in the community or in important sectors of it.

  • To offend the cultural heritage, the social interest, the national symbols and institutions, and the constituted authorities.

  • You must not arbitrarily discriminate, denigrate, belittle, ridicule, or mock individuals or groups; especially for racial, ethnic, religious reasons or because of their gender, age, disability or sexual orientation.

  • It should not propose anorexia, obesity or any other condition that threatens people's health and normal development as role models.

  • Nor should you abuse the public's trust or exploit their lack of culture, knowledge or experience.

  • Do not use fear or superstitions without a justified reason.

  • Exploit or take advantage of misfortune or suffering, without just cause.

  • Unjustifiably using violence as an advertising resource, nor suggesting that it could obtain advantages or benefits.

  • Induce to carry out or support acts of violence or illegal or antisocial behavior, in any of its manifestations. Notices may only resort to violence, in very justified cases, such as reporting it and encouraging behaviors contrary to it.

  • It should not include minors promoting situations and behaviors that do not correspond or are inappropriate for their age.

  • Among other.

Consumer Protection Law No. 19496

Advertising and its regulations - example
Advertising that promotes negative stereotypes towards women. Image credit: @Mayafernandeza

The Law No. 19496 on the protection of consumer rights It regulates misleading advertising and imposes sanctions for the person or company that knowingly (or should know it) induces one of these advertising practices or does not comply with some of its rules (such as advertising that promotes negative stereotypes towards women). These penalties can go up to 1000 UTM (Monthly Tax Unit).

On the other hand, in order to protect consumers, a judge may, ex officio or at the request of a party, establish the interruption of an advertising campaign when the gravity of the facts warrants it.