A reminder that the change to section 2.2 of the Code of Ethics to prohibit advertising portraying adults that uses sexual appeal in a manner that is either ‘exploitative or degrading’ comes into effect on 1 March. We have also amended the definition of ‘exploitative’ to ensure greater clarity for advertisers. The existing prohibition on the use of any sexual appeal in advertising portraying minors remains unchanged.
We are confident that the changes we are now making to the Code of Ethics and the accompanying practice note will better align to community expectations. We want to make it absolutely clear that it is not acceptable to use sexual appeal either by depicting people as commodities or by focussing on their bodies when such a focus bears no relevance to the product or service being advertised.
For the vast majority of advertisers, this change will not change your modus operandi as you already ensure your advertising does not use sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative or degrading.
We have released an updated version of the Code of Ethics and Practice Note to help all advertisers comply with the new clause. These are accessible here [link]. The current Code will continue to apply until then.
If you have any questions feel free to contact the Self-Regulatory team: