Advertising regulation is a corporate concept that is gaining momentum in the international realm. The diversified forms of marketing that inculcate various forms of advertisements have risen significantly. This aspect has made it a necessity to have a regulatory framework to guide the whole practice. Essentially, advertising means making a product or a service known to many people across a wide geographical location. Advertising may target a specific audience, which is often the case.
Additionally, it may target multiple persons in an audience. This implies that an ad may be run to reach out to diverse audiences. For example, in the case of advertising a service or food, or any other product used by people of diverse psychographics, the ad would target all of them rather, rather than selectively.
Supremely, advertising protocols denote to the rules and codes of conduct that outlines the way or rather the practices that a specific geographical locality stick to and integrate in advertising. The code of conduct or laws can mean a wide array of aspects of this concept of advertising. It can mean, but not limited to the content of the ad, the timing in which the ad is placed. Concurrently, the placement of the ad and even the media that is used (2015 International CES Advertisement, 2014)
In most countries in the world, especially Western countries, a good example is the United States of America. Here, regulations are barely pronounced, especially concerning advertisements that are health-related. Ads that have a connotation of falsehood have stringent regulations as well. As a matter of continuity, most countries in the global spectrum have tight regulations on ads that deal with the advertisement of alcoholic drinks and tobacco. These two examples that are seen on a worldwide scale are a clear indicator of the state or angle in which advertisement regulation inclines (Hg.org, 2015).
Loader (2004) posits that it is vital to point out that a higher percentage of advertised regulation is pegged much more on self-regulation rather than the legal obligation or provision. Advertisements and self-regulation in marketing have a correlation of a kind. It does not come across as a dictatorial process at all. It has a lot more to do with setting voluntary rules as a marketing firm, a media house or outlet, an advertising agency or even a company. These often engage in marketing through ads and other related activities. As earlier stated these regulations more often than not, go beyond what the legal framework stipulates.
As seen agencies, media outlets, marketing, and public relations, firms often set the regulatory framework to guide their advertisements practices. What is acceptable and what is not. However, there are often self-regulatory organizations that serve the purpose of enforcing adherence to these laws and regulations (Loader, 2004).
The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that the consumer of that given product is safeguarded. Additionally, the product has to be cost-effective and responsive. There should also be accessible channels of legal redress on any matter of concern mainly on the side of the consumer. However, these aspects of advertisement are country-dependent. So concerning the country, Self-regulatory organizations offer a wide array of services to their immediate communities or groups of people.
The services include; advice on how to go about the advertisement of a product, respond to issues of concern, for example, complaints about placement or contents of an ad, among other services. These services are fundamentally meant to correct problems and subsequently prevent them from occurring (Lawpublish.com, 2015)
In 1937, a vital standard for self-regulation in both marketing and advertisements was formed. This standard is today referred to the International Chamber of Commerce. It outlines or rather stipulates the rules and the code of marketing and advertisement of products or services in any given situation (Boddewyn, 1992).
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has served as the main foundation of regulations on ads. It is also a framework that takes centre stage in the codes that are used in most places in the whole world.
Cateova & Graham (1999) pointed out that there are a number of new developments in the marketing and advertising field. An example of a new development is the increasing competition on a worldwide scale. Advancement of technology has made businesses possible in a worldwide scene. This is an aspect that a while ago was unheard of. Well, there was a wide trade in the past, but not as pronounced, vibrant and competitive like now.
So with this new development in the market, companies, businesses, and big corporations have advanced and sourced for means and techniques to counteract this aspect of worldwide competition. In the contemporary world, it is an unwritten rule that there ought to be measures of marketing practices and ad placements that are consistent with the severity of the issue of tough competition.
As various markets in the world take a new shift day in day out and seek to expand their operations, there is an equal need to change the marketing and advertisement strategies. The change is an inevitable aspect if a business is to remain relevant in the world of ever-changing preferences and tastes. As earlier pointed out, the ever-intensifying competition in markets in the global realm is a development and a challenge facing many corporations and businesses at all levels. They, therefore, have to evolve measures to cope up with the challenge of competition, a stiff and intensified one for that matter (Gantzias, 2001).
Technology has had an uncanny way of shortening the distance between markets. This has had unprecedented effects on the market. The scale of advantages has been significantly reduced. This has prompted many companies and organization to create meaning and techniques to help them cope with the challenges and changes in the market, especially in the global scene (Gunter& Hansen, 2010).
Miller (2000) points marketing on the global scene are on a transitional kind of evolution. Marketing, Advertisement, and Public Relations departments are aware of this concept. As such, Companies have invested so much in marketing and ad placements to increase the clientele number and also maintain the loyalty of their current customers.
International marketing involves franchising and exporting products to other countries. International marketing is more intricate than domestic marketing. More often than not, organizations enter into a joint venture business with other organizations in the target region or country (Zhang, 2010). What this implies is that; an organization exports a given product to another region by entering into a binding or a consensual agreement to liaise with how a given product shall be availed to customers in the target country. It is important to note that an organization can also use foreign and direct investment in the target region or country.
There is a generational trend that is being set in contemporary society. A trend in which corporations are now using multiple channels to market their products to diverse people across various regions. In this kind of situation, various companies and corporations are using unique marketing strategies not just to get people to buy their products and services but also to earn their trust and thus their loyalty.
It is not uncommon to find businesses and large Corporations investing so much in corporate public relations. In such a case Corporations invest so much time and resources in community relations, corporate social responsibility as a way of connecting with the people. Getting them to know about the line of products or services that are offered by the company in question. Corporate social responsibility is a force to reckon with in marketing strategies used by a company (Idowu, 2013).
Upon embracing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a company gets to be in touch with the clients who might not have been reached if the advertisement only was used. Undoubtedly, this is a strategy that many a company has decidedly adopted. A good example is Coca Cola or even Pepsi; the two are giants in the providence of beverages and other similar products to clients or rather consumers on a worldwide scale. The two are often at the forefront using CSR to their advantage and gaining more consumers across wide geographical areas. This has made their products to catapult further and thus to make them more successful despite facing competition from other small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are offering beverages. The pre-stated companies often engage in sponsorship of sports, environmental projects, and even festivals such as music and dance. By sponsoring such events, they get a platform to reach out to many people, and as such, their products get to be known and identified by many people (Idowu, 2013).
Various countries advertisement regulation
In the UK majority of the advertisements are done on an outdoor basis, such include posters and billboards. Regulation is done and managed by The United Kingdom Town and the planning body that is the County planning body. Currently displaying an ad of saying a billboard without seeking the prior permission from the County planning body is punishable. It is often termed as being an offence of criminal nature. If a Corporation or a group is found liable on, such as offence, the law is categorically clear on this. They will be liable to a fine of 2500 Sterling pounds for each offence that goes contrary to the stipulations made by the law (Aggarwal, 2012).
In essence, regulation in the UK is under the umbrella of the Advertising Standards Authority. Billboards are the main forms of outdoor media used in the United Kingdom. In carrying out Television advertisements, the ads are vetted to check for impropriety and cases that do not meet the set ethical threshold. If an ad is not approved, then most assuredly, that ad would not run on national television In the United Kingdom (29th IEEE International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium House Advertisement, 2014).
Advertisement in South Africa is more inclined to be a matter of self-regulation. Laws of advertisement are not as pronounced as they are in the UK. However, this is not to say that there are no rules in South Africa. Self-regulation draws a standpoint framework from the standards that are contained in a code of practice that was formed by the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa). It also draws its guidelines from the international code that outlines the way in which marketing should be carried out on the global scene.
This is one of the countries that have friendlier terms and condition concerning advertisement and other marketing strategies. The Advertisement Standards Authority is the body that is mandated to regulate the content that is aired in New Zealand. The regulation incorporates advertisements that are made in electronic and print media. The complaints board of the country caters for the representation of the media, advertisers and other relevant stakeholders’ agencies and firms that advertize et al. (Arpp-pub.org, 2015).
When members of the public present any form of complaint concerning placement of a given ad, the ASA often requests the person who placed the advertisement to voluntarily pull down the content.
United States of America
The federal trade commission in the US handles and makes regulations concerning advertisement and marketing of products or services. States have their set laws that govern the issue of ad placement in various traverses of the United States. There is also a body that is so pronounced in the US. It is the Children’s Advertisement Review Unit (CARU); this is a section of the Children’s arm in the advertising industry in the US (Lawpublish.com, 2015)
CARU plays a very integral part in ad regulation in the US; it ensures that any content that is advertised and children are the main targets, is free of injurious materials. It also sees to it that the media used adheres to truthfulness, accuracy, propriety and consistency. Therefore, with this concern, CARU ensures that ad placement and marketing of children’s stuff is compliant with the stipulations in the Self-regulatory guidelines for children and other laws that are relevant and relate to ad placement.
It is inescapable that ad regulation is quite varied from one country to another. The laws that govern marketing are varied from one nation to another, one region to another, although it is also true that some countries might have nearly the same regulations on the advertisement.
Impact of current developments in marketing strategies and consumers across the international market
As seen, issues such as tough competition have brought in a new angle in marketing strategies that various companies use nowadays. Tough competition is the new development that has seen many markets re-engineers their operation time and again so as to stay relevant in the market.
Advancement of technology
In this time and age, technology is improving and becoming more user-friendly than ever before. This is another current development in the global market. This has led to various forms of marketing strategies being formed. Nowadays, companies use social media; social wikis, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogs for marketing. There are also other platforms such as email marketing to advertise their services and products to many people at a go (Matsubae and Matsushima, n.d.).
Technology has made it possible for the marketing to be done in an instant manner. This had an impact on consumers across various parts of the world. The social media have made it even possible for some counterfeit products to be advertised, thus making many vulnerable to being conned. The social media has its positive side too; consumers can get access to the products of their preferences at the click of a button. This is such a cost-effective and manageable means of advertisement (Iccwbo.org, 2015)
Varying and changing legal frameworks in various countries
Change is an inevitable aspect of the whole world. Advertisement and marketing strategies are therefore often affected by the change of legal stipulations of various countries. Change of regimes and constitutional amendments or even change has adverse effects on the advertisement and other business activities. Alcohol is one of the frequently affected products when it comes to advertisement.
Many countries do not advocate overly marketing of alcoholic drinks. As such, producers may suffer a big blow when a certain country say South Africa bans certain ads of alcohol. This affects the sales as well as the consumers who might be sampling for drinks and end up not being informed owing to a ban on ads (Valdez & Wood, 2003)
Developments in alcohol ad regulation
In a worldwide scale, nations use varying regulatory measures and policies to control the marketing and advertisements of alcohol. Many countries reporting to the World Health Organization reported that there are restrictions that are accorded to the placement of alcohol ads. A few countries reportedly have a complete ban on the advertisement of alcohol.
The new trend or rather, developments in the recent past has seen many countries move to the point of restricting the advertisement alcohol. This does not mean the advertisement of the same has been banned. What it implies is that countries have formulated and enacted rules and regulation to govern the placement of ads for alcoholic drinks (Mueller, 2004).
Alcohol advertisement in the US
Alcohol advertisement in the US is guided by regulatory bodies that ideally create the standards in which alcohol can be advertised or rather marketed. The ethics of advertisement of alcohol, presently, is warranting a place in the media where over three-quarters of the viewers are probably to be of the legitimately postulated drinking age.
Self-regulatory measures contend that the ad should be ethical. For example, using cartoon characters that are prevalent in kids to advertise alcohol is strongly unacceptable. They must also not encourage irresponsible drinking; this is why most ads would end by mentioning that overconsumption of alcohol is harmful. Alcohol advertisement in India
India is very strict on issues to do with alcohol. This is a product that cannot just be aired at will. Because of stricter laws pertaining to alcohol advertisement, there is the strategy of surrogate advertising. This kind of advertisements is prevalent in India. The surrogate advertisement uses products that are in a fairly close category for the alcoholic product. For this reason, it is not uncommon to find advertisements and marketing of mineral water, but with a connotation of a brand of alcohol (Carpenter &Dobkin, 2010).
Businesses that produce alcohol have not stopped producing alcohol simply because of the existing regulations and at times, very strict restrictions. For this reason, they make their adverts in the appropriate manner that is consistent with the regulations and restrictions in place. In India, for example, alcohol is advertised through surrogate advertisements that are repeated over and over to send the message to the consumers. In a country like US the correct media are used strictly, i.e. the audience has to consist of over 70 percent of people who have reached the legal age for drinking. Conclusively, self-regulation and ad laws have a connectedness of a kind to ensure proper advertisement that respects the set ethical and regulatory standards and requirements.
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