The AANA has developed and introduced new Codes and amended the existing Codes to keep pace with the rapid changes within the advertising, marketing and media industry. The Codes are platform and technology neutral and evolve to keep pace with changing consumer behaviour.
As new platforms for marketing communication are explored, more questions are raised about best practice and the application of the Codes to consumer-facing PR materials. The AANA Codes ensure industry continues to take responsibility for communication across all platforms.
The Codes are intended to apply to advertising and marketing communication in any medium. Responsible advertisers are already taking the initiative and reviewing their consumer public relations communications against the AANA Codes, as it forms part of their advertising mix. This review of the definition aligns the AANA Codes with international standards and current practice amongst brand owners.
The evolved definition of advertising and marketing communication makes it clear that the AANA Codes apply to consumer public relations communication.
Rather than listing all types of marketing that could be included, the approach of the AANA Codes is to assess the material against two criteria:
Where PR material is developed to provide information to stakeholder groups such as media, investors or government and the brand owner does not have control over the final material it will not be covered by the Codes.
However, if the material is targeted directly at consumers or the public in a way that is intended to promote a service or product and in circumstances where the brand owner retains reasonable control over the material, then the Codes will apply.
This is unlikely to significantly impact how most PR practitioners operate. However, it does provide members of the public with a more transparent route for making a complaint about public relations material which they believe contravenes the Codes.
The Codes will cover material:
The Codes will not cover:
1 January 2016.
Marketers and advertisers reviewing, or collaborating to produce, direct-to-consumer material should be aware the Codes may apply to those materials, if they retain reasonable control over the material.
Public relations professionals producing communications materials that are targeted to the public should be aware the Codes apply to those materials.
Public relations communications will include material presented in a variety of formats, including video, infographics, question and answer articles, photos, audio or online.
The evolution will align the Codes to international standards, provide clarity for brand owners and ensure industry remains transparent and ethical in communicating about brands across all platforms and communications functions.
It will also provide members of the public with a clearer complaints procedure. When a member of the public has a complaint about marketing communication that is targeted at them, they can complain to the Advertising Standards Bureau, irrespective of whether the material was produced by a public relations, marketing or advertising professional.