Draft Code of Advertising Practice for Samoa

In addition to the provisions of the General Media Code of Practice, specific essential principles underpin the self-regulation of cross-media advertising and marketing in Samoa:
· All advertising and marketing must comply with the laws of Samoa, be decent, honest and truthful, and should neither deceive nor mislead the consumer.
· Advertisements should be prepared with a due sense of responsibility to consumers and society and should not undermine public confidence in advertising, or bring it into disrepute.
· All advertising and marketing should respect the generally accepted principles of fair competition in business.
Responsibility for compliance with the voluntary obligations of the Code is shared by the advertiser or marketer and their agents, who must conform when preparing advertising, and by publishers, broadcasters and other media service providers who should not accept material that does not comply with the spirit or letter of the Code.
3.1 decent, honest and truthful
3.1i Recognition: Advertisements should be readily distinguishable as such in whatever form or medium they appear. Where they are likely to be confused with news or editorial matter, they should be clearly labelled as advertising.
3.1ii Offence: Advertising or marketing must not include material likely to cause widespread or serious offence, as judged against generally prevailing standards in Samoa, taking into account the context, medium, likely audience and product advertised. (See General Code).
3.1iii Exploitation: Advertisers must not exploit the consumers’ credulity, inexperience, lack of knowledge, or superstition.
3.1iv It is unacceptable to use sexual appeal in a gratuitous, degrading or exploitative way, solely to promote the sale of unrelated products.
3.1vi Deception: Advertisements should not contain material which - by statement or visual presentation, or by implication, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or other means - creates a false impression likely to mislead or deceive the consumer.
3.1vii Assertive opinion, including robust comment or obvious hyperbole about the merits of the product advertised, is acceptable where it is clearly presented as subjective and not as fact.

3.2i Advertising must not harm or exploit, personally or financially, vulnerable consumers. No advertising is acceptable from those who practise or advocate illegal or harmful behaviour.
3.2ii Distress: Advertisements should neither cause fear or distress without adequate justification, nor use alarming or horrific claims or images solely for dramatic effect.
3.2iii Legitimate fear: Where shocking images or material are used to promote genuinely remedial or therapeutic action, or to prevent harmful or imprudent behaviour, the alarm caused should be in due proportion to the risk.
3.2iv Dangerous or illegal practices which condone or encourage a disregard for safety should not feature in advertisements, unless justified on educational or social grounds.
3.2v Violence: No advertisement should contain material that condones, or is likely to encourage, violent or unacceptable anti-social behaviour.

3.3 PORTRAYAL, PRIVACY and ENDORSEMENTS (See also General Code)
3.3i Portrayal: Individuals should not be portrayed in advertisements in a way likely to expose them to widespread hostility, contempt, abuse or ridicule, or - taking into account prevailing community standards in Samoa - cause serious offence on the grounds of age, gender, race, ethnic or national origin; cultural, religious, political or ethical belief; sexual orientation, or mental or physical disability.
3.3ii People should not be stereotyped in a negative way likely to cause offence on the grounds of age, gender, race, colour, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation or mental or physical disability.
3.3iii Privacy: Unfair, adverse, or inaccurate, portrayal of identifiable people in advertisements is unacceptable, without consent.
3.3iv No advertisement should feature, without consent, any identifiable person or their property in a way likely to imply a genuine product endorsement.
3.3v Dead people: References to the recently dead should be made only with care and sensitivity to avoid unnecessary offence.
3.3vi Personal testimonials should be genuine and verifiable and related to the endorser’s direct experience of the product advertised.
3.3vii Scientific, governmental or professional research results, unless available from a public source, should not be used to imply endorsement without official consent.
3.3viii Fictitious testimonials must be readily identifiable as such.
3.3ix Children’s testimonials must not be used to endorse products.

3.4i Comparisons with competitors, such as on price or performance, must be based on valid and verifiable analysis of equivalent products on equal terms and not mislead the consumer.
3.4ii Advertisements should not denigrate or disparage rival products or unfairly attack or discredit competitors’ businesses.
3.4iii Imitative advertising, or marketing of imitative products which is likely to mislead or confuse consumers, or take unfair advantage of a rival’s brand or reputation, is unacceptable.
3.5i The words ‘guarantee’ or guaranteed’ or ‘warranty’ or ‘warranted’ should not be used in advertisements unless the terms of the guarantee are freely available to, and verifiable by, the consumer. Media organisations should establish this before accepting such advertising.
3.5ii Advertisements should not describe products or samples as ‘free’ unless they are supplied to the consumer at no extra cost, other than postage or carriage.
3.6i Particular care should be taken to fulfil the Code’s obligation to comply with the law and social responsibility in areas of special susceptibility, such as in advertising alcohol, tobacco, medicines or health products or services; gambling or lotteries; financial services; politics or public affairs; religion; and advertising aimed at children and young people.
3.6ii Alcohol advertising, where legally permitted, should not glamorise or encourage over-consumption; depict fast, aggressive or immoderate drinking; imply that liquor is therapeutic, essential to social acceptance, sexual success, or a sign of strong character; or place undue emphasis on alcoholic strength, and should not be targeted at children.
3.6iii Betting, gaming and lottery advertisements, where legally allowed, should not portray gambling as a solution to financial problems; or overstate prizes or the chance of winning, or be directed at children or young people under 18.
3.6iv Financial services advertising should not mislead by exaggerating likely gains and should give clear and realistic guidance on the risk to potential investments.
3.6v Health and medicinal advertising should not raise unrealistic expectations by making false or exaggerated claims for the efficacy of foods, remedies or treatments, vitamin or other dietary supplements, slimming aids or methods; or in any way encouraging people to experiment with medication, treatments, or regimes which may be inappropriate or harmful.
3.6vi Political and public affairs advertising, where permitted by law, should identify the advertiser, and should not incite violence or civil unrest, or – in the case of broadcasters – compromise the obligation to due impartiality.
3.6vii Religious, faith, or belief-related advertising should clearly identify the advertiser, and not express matters of faith or doctrine as unqualified fact, nor exploit vulnerable groups such as the bereaved, the sick, the elderly or impressionable young people,
3.6iii Tobacco advertising, where legally permitted, should not glamorise smoking as essential to social success or acceptance and should include appropriate warning of the health risks.
3.7i TV or radio advertisements should follow the relevant provisions of the Broadcasting Code of Practice, especially with regard to scheduling, to avoid causing unnecessary offence and to protect children and vulnerable groups,
3.7ii Product placement, or host selling by presenters in programmes is not acceptable.
3.8i TV and radio advertisements intended for children, or likely to be seen or heard by them, should follow the general provisions of the Broadcasting and Advertising Codes and those specific to protecting children from material which might cause psychological, physical or moral harm. They should take special care not to:
· Show violence or aggression, encourage anti-social behaviour, or depict children acting in an anti-social manner.
· Use menacing or disturbing themes likely to cause children unnecessary distress.
· Endanger health or safety by portraying children engaged in unsafe acts, consorting with strangers, or in unsuitable or unsafe situations; or by showing products used in an unsafe way; or by encouraging inappropriate health, hygiene or dietary habits.
· Exploit unfairly children’s natural credulity.
· Imply that without the advertised product children will be socially inferior or ridiculed, or that they are disloyal if they do not purchase products.
· Mislead children about the size, qualities, performance or price of products or understate the skill or additional resources needed to use a product successfully.
· Promote competitions that exaggerate the prizes or the chances of winning.
· Urge children to buy products direct without parental approval, or to exhort adults to buy products on their behalf.
· Encourage them to make purchases by mail, telephone or via the Internet without appropriate parental consent.
· Use children to endorse branded products or selling messages.
3.8ii Scheduling: Advertisements which are unsuitable for children, such as those promoting alcohol, or adult pursuits, should be scheduled for times when they are least likely to be viewing or listening.


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