ETHICAL PRINCIPLES OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
(wording approved on July 1 2015*)
CODE OF ETHICS FOR ADVERISING PRACTICE
The Code of Ethics for Advertising Practice (hereinafter “the Code”) is being issued by the Slovak Advertising Standards Council (hereinafter “the Council”) pursuant to Article VII and in accordance with Article XIV of the statutes of the Council.
Purpose of the Code is to help advertising in the Slovak Republic to serve its best to the submitters of advertising and the public, to fulfil ethical aspects required by Slovak citizens, to maintain standards of truth, honesty and fairness and to respect internationally accepted principles of advertising practice elaborated by the International Business Association.
The Code is based on the principles of universal validity, subsidiarity of the ethical principles and technological neutrality.
The Code does not substitute legal regulation of advertising, however ties onto it by stating ethical principles.
The Code is addressed to persons active in advertising and other forms of promotion and formulates the principles of professional conduct.
The Code also informs the public of advertising ethics boundaries and subjects that have willingly accepted these principles and are determined to keep these boundaries by means of principles of ethical self regulation.
CHAPTER ONE FUNDAMENTAL PROVISIONS
Scope of the Code
(1) The provisions of the Code relate to advertising, which is part of commercial communication.
(2) Unless otherwise provided, the provisions of the Code shall also apply to advertising which is part of non-commercial communication.
(3) The provisions of the Code do not apply to political advertising, especially for public notice distributed
a) within the election campaign or the campaign for the referendum or plebiscite,
b) in favour of or against a political party, political movement or coalition of political parties or political movements, as well as their representatives or candidates or an independent candidate, or
c) for the purpose of popularization of the name, mark, slogan or the program of a political party, political movement or coalition of political parties or political movements or an independent candidate.
The Concept of Advertising
(1) For the purposes of the Code, advertising means a communication process initiated by a competitor or his designee, as well as the content, which is the result of such communication process, if
a) the communication process is carried out for payment or other consideration, or
b) the purpose of the communication process is to affect the consumer’s behaviour in any way, particularly to provide the consumer with the information about a product, activity or competitor’s objectives, or on a project of a charitable or other non-commercial nature.
(2) For the purposes of the code, advertising means also a communication processes initiated by a non-entrepreneur, as well as the content, which is the result of such communication process, as long as the communication process is characterized by using the methods, pursuing objectives and in the distribution of the content such manners are used, which are typically used, monitored or used in a commercial communication, even if the process is conducted by a person authorized by the non-entrepreneur.
(3) For the purposes of the code, advertising shall include any form of public promotion or presentation using the advertising techniques, especially direct marketing, including telemarketing, use of communication media, including digital advertising, teleshopping, sponsorship and product placement. The user-generated content within social networks, blogs or similar virtual spaces is taken into account only if such content is referred to in the provision of paragraph 1.
Definition of Other Terms
(1) For the purposes of the Code, child shall mean a natural person younger than 15 years and its graphic representation or any other presentation representing such person in advertisements.
(2) For the purposes of the Code, a communication medium shall mean any means or method enabling analog, digital or other recording, transmission, display or performance of information. A communication medium is in particular television broadcasting, radio broadcasting, internet and other digital platforms including online games, email and other forms of electronic communication, medium of a multimedia work, medium of an audiovisual work, audiovisual performance, sound recording, audio & video recording, vehicle, periodicals, agency services, non-periodical publications, billboard, poster or flyer.
(3) For the purposes of the Code, minor means a natural person younger than 18 years, and its graphic representation or other presentation representing such person in advertisements.
(4) For the purposes of the Code, non-entrepreneur shall mean a physical or legal person established for a purpose other than doing business, who is not a competitor.
(5) For the purposes of the Code, authorized person means a person acting
a) in the interests of a competitor, following his instructions or when a competitor is aware of it, or
b) following the instructions of a non-entrepreneur or when a non-entrepreneur is aware of it.
(6) For the purposes of the Code, average consumer shall mean a consumer who is reasonably well informed and reasonably observant and circumspect, taking into account social, cultural and linguistic factors; if the advertisement is aimed at a particular group of consumers, it will be considered from the perspective of the average member of that group.
(7) For the purposes of the Code, product means any product, goods or services, as well as a property, title or business name, goodwill, intellectual property, including trademark or any other right or obligation.
(8) For the purposes of the Code, consumer shall mean any person who may be affected by advertising; a consumer is not the sponsor of the advertisement or any authorized person or person active in the field of advertising, particularly a provider of a communication medium or its operator (hereinafter “provider of communications media”) and/or an advertising agency.
(9) For the purposes of the Code, competitor means any entrepreneur or other person participating in the competition within the relevant market.
(10) For the purpose of this Code, advertiser is a competitor or a non-entrepreneur, who initiated the communications process, and if it is not possible to determine such person, advertiser is the person who primarily bears the costs of advertising.
Advertising and Responsibility
(1) The advertiser, the advertising agency and the provider of communications media shall be primarily responsible for observance of the Code; in case of a breach of the Code, all persons involved in the communication process shall bear the responsibility together, according to the extent of their share of the breach.
(2) Unless it is proven otherwise,
a) compliance with the Code in general is the responsibility of the advertiser, as long as the
advertiser has approved the advertisement or otherwise agreed to it,
b) production of the advertisement and its ordering with the communications media is the responsibility of the relevant advertising agency,
c) advertising is the responsibility of communication medium provider.
3) The fact that advertisement is anonymous or non-transparent does not prevent the assessment of compliance of such advertisement with the Code.
(4) Advertisement is considered
a) anonymous, if in the review process of complaint against advertising before the Arbitration Commission of the Council (hereinafter the “Commission”) it is not possible to establish or determine the relevant advertiser; for example due to the fact, his/her identity is unknown to the provider of communications medium or the advertiser placed the communications medium provider under confidentiality obligation,
b) non-transparent, if in the review process of complaint against advertising before the Arbitration Commission, it is not possible to establish or determine the relevant advertising agency or communications medium provider, due to the use of, for example, an unauthorized posting or other similar non-transparent advertisement distribution method.
(5) In the case of advertising, which is anonymous or non-transparent or if no legal recourse action is available against the respective advertiser, advertising agency or provider of communication medium due to other reasons, such as death or termination of operation without legal successor, the responsibility for compliance with the Code is borne jointly and severally by all individuals/parties involved in the communication process that can be identified.
Article 5 par. 1 (1) The Codex is applied by the Council and the Commission.
APPLICATION OF THE CODE
(1) The Code is applied by the Council and Arbitration Committee of the Council (hereinafter “Committee”).
(2) The Committee has a sole right to interpret the Code and it consists of at least seven individuals elected in accordance with the relevant statutes of the Council and the Rules of Procedure of the Commitee from advertisers, advertising agencies, communications media providers and furthermore legal counsellors and representatives of consumer public.
Complaint about an Advertisement
(1) Complaints and suggestions for verification of a particular advertisement (hereinafter
“Complaint”) may be submitted by any legal or natural person (with exception of the Committee members). An initiative of the Executive Director of the Council based on the monitoring carried out in accordance with the statutes of the Council, as well as a complaint submitted to the Council by a public authority is also considered as a complaint to the Council.
(2) The complaint shall be submitted to the business address of the Council in writing or by e-mail.
(3) An advertisement, to which the complaint is related, is assessed by the Committee. An arbitration finding is issued on the basis of the votes result. The assessment is without any charge.
(4) A review of the arbitration finding is charged with an administrative fee determined by the General Assembly of the Council.
Compliance of the Advertisement or the Advertisement Proposal with the Code
(1) The advertiser or the authorized person may ask the Committee to assess the compliance of an advertisement or an advertisement proposal with the Code (hereinafter “testimonial”). For the purpose of the testimonial, the advertisement is considered to be an advertisement proposal until the public distribution by the communications media.
(2) The testimonial is invoiced at an administrative fee, which is determined by the General Assembly of the Council.
Relationship of the Code to Other Ethical Standards
(1) If the Code does not specifically or individually govern a relevant area of advertising, the advertisement shall be considered according to the basic requirements for advertising in accordance with the ratio of the Code as a whole.
(2) An ethical standard adopted by another organization may be considered if a member of such an organization is the advertiser of the advertisement under consideration and a member of the Council at the same time.
(3) In assessing an advertisement according to the Code, the principles of ethical codes and principles of International Chamber of Commerce based in Paris can be also applied.
(4) In case of a conflict between a provision of the Code and other ethical standard, the provision of the Code shall prevail.
Common Provisions to the Application of the Code
(1) The possibility to review an arbitration finding and the conditions are determined by the Council.
(2) Details on the application of the Code and the procedure for issuing findings and testimonials are governed by the Rules of Procedure of the Committee.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR ADVERTISING
Advertising in General
(1) Advertising shall not induce a violation of generally binding regulations or give the impression that it agrees with their violation.
(2) Advertising shall be truthful, decent and honest.
(3) Advertising shall be prepared with a sense of responsibility to the consumer.
(4) Advertising shall not be contrary to good morals, competition rules and shall not be capable of causing any detriment to other competitors or consumers.
(5) Unfair advertising is inadmissible; unfair advertising is considered to be an advertisement that uses aggressive commercial practices, or otherwise directly affects the economic interests of the consumers.
(6) No advertisement shall jeopardize the reputation of the advertising as such or reduce
confidence in advertising as a service to consumers.
(1) The advertising must not contain such statements, expressions, sounds, noises or depictions, that would breach the general standards of decency and it must not contain elements which degrade human dignity. In the context of respect for decency and human dignity, particular attention should be given, especially in advertising
a) to used play on words, coarse slang and ambiguities, especially to avoid the use of such play on words, coarse slang or ambiguous statements that appear sexist, discriminatory, abusive or degrading with respect to their sexual or other subtext,
b) to used depictions of a women or a men in the image or sound, in particular to avoid the use of such representation of women and men in an image or sound, which is sexist, discriminatory, abusive or degrading with respect to the entire image, sound or audio-visual rendition of an advertisement,
c) to used language and linguistic expressions, primarily to avoid the use of expressions of verbal (linguistic) violence, as well as expressions uncritically reinforcing gender and sexual stereotypes, either directly or in conjunction with visual or any other aspect of advertisement,
d) to used depictions of violence in the image or sound, in particular to avoid the use of any display of domestic violence, gender violence or violence against minority individuals or groups in image or sound that might in view of the overall image, audio or audio-visual rendering of an advertisement have an effect on the average consumer as a condoning, acceptance or promotion of such violence,
e) to the used portrayal of a woman, her body and her status (role), in particular to avoid a presentation of a woman as a mere sexual attraction, as well as deliberately degrading her qualities, abilities, skills, interests or appearance on the basis of gender stereotypes.
(2) Depiction of humans and presentation of the human body in advertising must be done with full consideration of its impact on all categories of consumers.
(3) Violation of provisions of paragraphs 1 to 2 shall be assessed taking into account the overall context, the relationship of the advertisement to the product, the chosen target group and used communication media.
(1) Advertisement shall not be outlined in such a way that would abuse average consumers’ trust or using the lack of their experience, knowledge or their credulity.
(2) An advertisement shall not be concealed, and namely an advertisement cannot pretend that it represents other type of information (scientific articles, reportage, interview, news reports, etc.) than advertising.
Social Responsibility in Advertising
(1) Advertisement shall not use the motive of fear; evoke a feeling of fear and present product as an adequate mean for fear elimination.
(2) Advertisement shall not misuse prejudices and superstitions.
(3) Advertisement shall not contain anything that could lead to violent acts nor support them or popularize them.
(4) Advertisement shall not contain anything that could incite to lawless or criminal acts or support them. Furthermore it shall not appear in such a way, which creates a feeling it approves and supports such acts.
(5) Advertisement shall not contain anything that could in a rude way insult racial, national, political or religious feelings of the consumers.
(6) The advertisement may not support any discrimination form, mainly by reason of race, nationality, religion, political allegiance, sex or age.
(7) Advertisement shall not promote excessive succumb to sexuality by portraying sexual incentives, submissiveness, nudity or partial nudity of the human body in an inappropriate way and it shall not present the product as a suitable mean for the removal of sexual barriers without justified reason.
(8) Advertising must not blackmail emotionally. Advertising can work with the emotional engagement of different consumer groups, however, it must not use the tools of emotional blackmail, especially by attempting to induce guilt or fear of disability, the use of fictitious or real disabled person, socially or otherwise disadvantaged person or abandoned animal; this does not apply to advertising under Article 2 par. 2.
9) Advertising must not contain statistics (statistical data), survey results or the results of research presented in a manner that is exaggerated or which falsely broadens the validity of the advertisement’s claim. Statistics (statistical data), survey results and research findings used in advertising must be up to date, if it is usual and possible, and for the average consumer clearly identified, in particular, indicating their source and relevant time information.
(1) Misleading advertising is inadmissible; as misleading advertising is considered advertising that in particular
a) misleads the average consumer or materially distorts or is likely to materially distort the economic behavior of the average consumer in relation to the product in a manner that prevents it from making an informed decision,
b) mediates the information essential for the average consumer in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner to enable making an informed decision, or
c) uses other deceptive business practice.
(2) Advertisement cannot broadcast deceitful data about own or an outside company and its products. Also true data, used in circumstances and connections in which it can deceit the recipient of advertising message, is considered to be deceitful data.
(3) Advertisement may not gain advantage for its own or another company at the expense of other companies, based on deceitful data.
(4) An advertisement shall not contain a deceptive specification of a product that may give rise to a false assumption that the specified product comes from a certain country, region or place or has been produced by a certain manufacturer or that the product has specific characteristics or is of specific quality. A deceptive specification shall mean also the specification of a product
a) to which an addition is attached, serving to distinguish this product from the branded product which the product communicated resembles, and despite that this specification may give rise to a false assumption as to the origin or character of the product,
b) that is generally used as the information serving to specify the type or quality of the product unless an addition that may give rise to the consumer’s false assumption as to the origin or character of the product is attached to the specification.
(5) An advertisement shall not contain any data and/or presentations that would directly or indirectly – by omission, double meaning or exaggeration (except for the cases involving clear hyperbolisation) may mislead the consumer. Special attention is required when displaying the size of the product with respect to the actual dimensions, volume and weight of the product and the presentation or other information on
a) product characteristics, in particular the origin of the product, its composition, mode of expression and the manner of presentation and representation of the date, range of use, amount, commercial or geographical origin, impact (positive or negative) on the environment and other characteristics including those concerning its use (e.g. quality, effects, performance, the existing testimonials, analyzes, studies, certificates, etc.),
b) economic or financial value of the product, the final price or terms and conditions for a free-of-charge offer,
c) distribution, exchange, return, repair and maintenance of the product, d) warranty or warranty period,
e) intellectual property rights, for instance, patents, utility models, trade marks and other industrial property rights, as well as copyrights and rights relatedto copyrights,
f) official acknowledgements and prizes such as medals, prizes or diplomas,
g) the scope of benefits as fara s charity and other similar purposes concerns,
h) the scope of benefits as fara s nutrition and health concerns.
(6) An advertisement shall not omit any material information that the average consumer needs to take an informed transactional decision; in assessing the extent of the information mediated to the consumer, the communication medium used is also taken into consideration.
(7) Advertising shall not abuse the result of any research or survey, and/or data or record of a technological, scientific or technical information source or a publication.
(8) Advertising shall not misuse scientific terms in particularly to falsely ascribe scientific validity to advertising claims.
(9) An advertisement shall not contain statistics presented as to exaggerate the validity of the advertised claims.
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ADVERTISING
Value of a Product
(1) Advertisements shall not lead consumers to confer the product a disproportionately higher utility value than the real utility value corresponding to the actual product.
(2) The advertiser is personally or by an authorized person prepared to prove
a) any claim relating to the actual financial value of the product, which is being offered at a lower price or free of charge,
b) the accuracy of any information about the product referred to in a comparative
(3) The product should not claim that it is distributed without any consideration, especially in conjunction with the words “gratis”, “free of charge” , “without charge” in any grammatical form, or its variant in a foreign language, if there is any necessary cost of the consumer excluding the actual cost of delivery, transport or shipping. If the consumer has to pay the real cost of delivery, transport or shipping, the advertisement shall contain enough clear statement in that sense.
(4) An advertisement shall not use any superlative, especially “the best”, “the cheapest”, “the
fastest”, “of the best quality” and the like, without a clear and credible proof of eligibility and veracity of such claims, which relates to the whole product.
Information on Price
Information on price contained in the advertisement or the fact that the information on price is incomplete or missing shall not raise any particular impression that
a) the price is lower than the actual price,
b) pricing depends on the circumstances, but in fact it does not depend on them,
c) the price includes delivery of the product or other service, performance or work, if it actually shall be paid separately,
d) the price has been or will be increased, decreased or changed if it has not or will not happen, or
e) the relationship between the price and the utility of the advertised product and the price and the utility of a comparable product is different than as being advertised.
Defamation and Belittlement of Competitors
Advertising of a product may not be offensive to any other product, advertiser or other advertising and shall not discredit any other product, advertiser or advertising.
(1) Advertising is inadmissible regardless of whether or not it meets the statutory requirements for comparative advertising, if
a) it compares products which do not satisfy the same need, neither are intended for the same purpose,
b) it compares a specific, typical, significant and verifiable feature or characteristics of a product, in a biased manner,
c) it does not differentiate the competitor or its product in a manner that can be considered sufficient to ensure that there can be no confusion between the competitors or products,
d) it denigrates the competitor, its circumstances, actions, product or other distinguishing feature,
e) it makes improper use of the reputation of the product or other distinguishing feature of the
f) it presents the product as an imitation or a copy of a product, protected by trade mark or a trade name.
(2) The provisions of paragraph 1 shall apply mutatis mutandis to advertisement, which does not compare specific products, if it presents a particular product compared with non-specified product of the particular commodity identified mainly as an “average”, “available” or “common”, which represents competitors or competing products.
Mimicking of Advertisements
(1) An advertisement with its general appearance, representation, using of a slogan, visual presentation, music or sound effects can not be similar to another advertisement that may lead to mistaking, misleading or confusion of the consumers.
(2) Without having a legitimate and legal reason, no result of creative activities, ideas or working result of an effort of any third party can be used in advertising; the advertiser and the authorized person shall be ready to prove such a reason.
Protection of Privacy and Abuse of Authority
(1) An advertisement shall not depict any living person, nor refer to any living person, if such an individual has not given the prior consent with such depiction or reference; it also applies to the use of personal expression of the individual and this adequately applies also to a legal person.
(2) Without the consent of an individual, an advertisement may not show any thing of personal nature, as long as it can be identified as a thing of the individual on the basis of the representation; it shall also reasonably apply to other assets of individuals and assets of legal persons.
(3) If an advertisement shows or otherwise presents any deceased persons or it refers to them, the advertiser shall pay particular attention to make sure that the advertisement does not offend the members of the family or persons otherwise associated with the deceased persons in religious or other terms.
(4) An advertisement shall not exploit for its operations an individual, who is the bearer of public authority, especially among the representatives of the regulated professions or the representatives of technical or professional organizations, and that even if the person consented to such action in the advertisement, whether with or without payment.
(5) An advertisement shall not use any representative of the public authority or an active politician for its operations, even if the person consented to such action in the advertisement, whether with or without any compensation; it does not apply to an advertisement as defined in Article 2 paragraph 2.
If the advertisement uses the word “guarantee” or “guaranteed” in any grammatical form, or a synonym of the word or its variants in a foreign language, the terms and conditions of the warranty shall be specifically stated in the advertisement.
(1) Advertising as such shall be clearly identifiable, regardless of what form or what communication medium is being used; however, any form of advertising, communications media, as well as the use of advertising techniques shall be considered in assessing.
(2) If a communicatiosn medium containing intelligence information or other editorial content is used for advertising, advertising shall be distinguished in such a way that it is recognizable as an advertisement for the average consumer; the average consumer shall be also able to identify the hybrid forms like infomercial or advertorial as advertisements.
Safety and Health
An advertisement shall not unreasonably, particularly without merit in educational or social objectives, include a display or description of a dangerous situation or practice that appears to be a risk to health or safety.
(1) An advertisement shall not intentionally promote unjustified waste or irrational consumption of raw materials or energy, particularly of the energy derived from non-renewable resources.
(2) An advertisement shall not encourage or approve of conduct detrimental to the environment beyond the socially accepted level.
SPECIFIC RULES OF THE ADVERTISING PRACTICE
COMMON PROVISIONS ON PRODUCTS
Common Principles for the Promotion of Products with Advertising Restrictions or Prohibitions
(1) The advertisement is non-compliant if it is directly prohibited or excluded by generally binding legal regulations, particularly with regard to
a) the product,
b) the form of presentation or promotion (Article 2 paragraph 3) or
c) the placement of the advertisement or the time when being disseminated.
(2) The advertiser and the authorized person shall pay particular attention to products whose advertising is severely restricted by the generally binding legal regulations.
(3) The provisions of the paragraph 2 and/or 3 are mainly related to
a) arms and ammunition,
b) infant preparations and other complementary products,
c) tobacco products,
d) certain medicines,
e) erotic services, erotic goods, erotic audio & video services,
f) some kinds of alcoholic beverages.
ADVERTISING OF FOOD AND/OR SOFT DRINKS
General Principles of Advertising Concerning Food and/or Soft Drinks
(1) The advertisement focused on food should present truthfully the characteristics of food, including the size, shape, look, used cover material, composition, durability, content, origin, production process and the benefit for consumer’s nourishment and health as well as the food layout and surroundings, in which the food is shown. The advertisement may not deceive the consumer regarding any mentioned characteristics of food.
(2) Allegations concerning the food referring to nutrition and health should be verified with scientific reasons.
(3) Advertisement focused on food and/or soft drinks shall not admonish the consumer to their oversized consumption. The size of shown food portion or soft drink portion should be adequate to featured environment and data.
(4) If the food or soft drinks are shown in context of food composition, the variety and composition should appropriately correspond with generally accepted principles of nutritive equilibrium.
(5) Advertisement focused on food and soft drinks shall not doubt the promotion of
a) healthy and balanced food eating, or
b) healthy and active life style.
(6) The advertiser shall pay particular attention in order not to present junk food in an advertisement in a way that recommends the consumer over-consumption of junk food or downplays or denies the nutritional or physiological effect of excessive consumption of junk food.
(7) For the purposes of the Code, junk food means the food or soft drink containing excessive amount of nutrients and substances with a nutritional or physiological effect, particularly fats, trans fatty acids, sugars, salt or sodium, whose excessive intake in the overall diet is not recommended.
ADVERTISING OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
General Provisions on Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the advertisement promoting any specific alcoholic beverage, as well as an advertisement containing a general presentation of alcoholic beverages, use of alcohol or any other claim or the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Location of the Advertisements for Alcohol
(1) Advertisements of alcoholic beverages shall be located
a) in a communication medium intended for minors,
b) on billboards or similar communications media in close proximity to schools, playgrounds or similar facility intended primarily for minors,
c) in a building or other space primarily intended for minors.
d) during a public event intended solely for minors.
(2) If the advertising of alcoholic beverages is carried out through theme website, web portal or other comparable on-line space, the consumer must be clearly and intelligibly advised of the accessibility of such on-line space from 18 years of age and older; if, due to the nature of the on-line space possible, the consumer must have the opportunity to refuse entering such on-line space unless it is not, mainly to the particular nature of the on-line space, excluded.”.
Characteristics of Alcoholic Beverages
(1) Advertisements of alcoholic beverages shall not inappropriately inform that a particular product
a) has a particular remarkable effect or
b) acts quickly.
(2) Advertisements shall not emphasize the content of alcohol in beverages as a sign of their quality.
(3) Advertisements which include expressions that are softening the effect of alcohol as a beverage by describing it in slang which either decreases or exaggerates the real content of alcohol in the beverage.
(1) Advertisement shall not state that alcohol is consumed by members of social group which usually does not agree with the use of alcohol.
(2) Advertisements of alcoholic beverages shall not be directed at risk groups of consumers, especially pregnant or lactating women or minors.
(3) An advertisement is inadmissible if it contains consumption of an alcoholic beverage or its suggestion by a minor or a person
a) which may be considered minor or
b) in which the consumption of alcoholic beverages is deemed inappropriate, particularly a driver of a motor vehicle or a pregnant or lactating woman.
Attitudes towards Alcohol Consumption
An advertisement of alcoholic beverages shall not directly or implicitely indicate
a) an irresponsible attitude towards alcohol consumption, especially with regard to the amount of used alcohol, or
b) abstinence or moderation in drinking as a deficiency.
Place of Alcohol Consumption
(1) Advertisement shall not picture alcohol consumption in socially poor or socially degrading environment.
(2) Advertisements indicating alcohol consumption Is inadmissible
a) on a place where it is generally prohibited,
b) on a cemetery or in its vicinity, or
c) on a sacred site or in its vicinity.
Circumstances of Alcohol Consumption
Advertisements shall not depict alcohol consumption in such a way and under such circumstances which are generally considered as inappropriate, unreasonable or against the law.
Minors in the Alcohol Advertisements
Advertising of alcoholic beverages shall not in any form use minors, even indirectly by presenting fictitious persons, animated characters or figures stimulant of minors or suggesting them with their conduct.
Effects of Alcohol Consumption
(1) Advertisements shall not present or indicate excessive alcohol consumption or consequences of its excessive consumption and especially, it shall not represent people who are drunk unless there is an apparent reason of prevention.
(2) Advertisements shall not state that the alcohol acts as a stimulant or a sedative and has healing powers, nor indicate such effects.
(3) An inadmissible advertising is also the advertising
a) consenting to excessive consumption of alcohol,
b) suggesting that alcohol is a means of resolving personal problems,
c) suggesting that the consumption of alcoholic beverages is necessary for professional, academic, sporting, sexual or other personal or social success or may contribute to the success,
d) presenting or indicating failure of security or lack of respect for law and public order, or
e) promoting physical aggression or violence.
ADVERTISING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS
General Provisions on Advertising of Tobacco Products
(1) The provisions of this section shall apply to such tobacco advertising, which is allowed to be disseminated in generally binding legal regulations; any other form of advertising of tobacco products is unacceptable.
(2) An advertisement of tobacco products shall include marking as stated in the generally binding legal regulations.
(3) For the purposes of the Code under tobacco products are understood any products snuffed, chewed or sucked, if it is at least partially made of tobacco, particularly cigarettes, “cigarillos”, cigars, cigarette tobacco, pipe tobacco, “snuff”, sniffing and chewing tobacco.
Effects of the Use of Tobacco Products
An advertisement for tobacco products shall not claim that the use of tobacco products
a) supports or enhances sexual, business or sports success, or
b) is a natural or an essential means of relaxation or concentration.
Protection of Non-Smokers in Tobacco Advertising
Tobacco products advertisement shall not encourage non smokers to start smoking.
Protection of Minors in the Advertising of Tobacco Products
(1) Advertising of tobacco products shall not be aimed at minors, encourage them to smoke or show scenes that these individuals could be attracted to.
(2) Advertising of tobacco products in any form shall not use minors, even indirectly, by presenting fictitious persons, animated characters or figures resembling or suggestive conduct of minors.
(3) Advertising of tobacco products through a consumer game or an advertising competition may be directed only to adult consumers; minors shall not be engaged in such consumer game or advertising competition.
(4) Advertising of tobacco products through direct promotion of tobacco products may be targeted only to adult consumers.
ADVERTISING OF MEDICINES, MEDICAL AIDS AND/OR MEDICAL SERVICES
General Provisions on Advertising of Medicines, Medical Aids or Medical Services
(1) The provisions of this Chapter do not relate to providing information to the professional public, including e-letters, advertisements in professional journals and other forms of communication targeted exclusively for professional public.
(2) In medication advertisement may appear only medicaments and medical aids which are
registered in the Slovak Republic or approved by a legal procedure.
(3) Narcotic or psychotropic substances advertisement is not permitted.
(4) Inadmissible advertising is also advertising of
a) medicines to be obtained on a prescription or a veterinary prescription,
b) medicines that are reimbursed by public health insurance, unless otherwise stipulated by the Code, and
c) containing a reference to the effects of medicines intended to treat tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, serious infectious diseases, cancer diseases, chronic insomnia, metabolic disorders diseases or mental illnesses.
Broadcasting of Advertising of Medicines and Medical Services
(1) An advertisement of medicines, which are reimbursed by public health insurance but not prescribable can be promoted in radio or television broadcasting.
(2) An advertisement of medical services covered by public health insurance in radio or television broadcasting is inadmissible.
Protection of Consumers in the Advertising of Medicines, Medical Aids or Medical Services
(1) Advertisements of medicines, medical aids or medical services shall not contain data leading to misjudgment of medical condition.
(2) Advertisements shall not include data describing harmless effects of medicaments if the only reason for such harmless effect is its natural origin.
(3) An advertisement of medicine or medical aid shall include name of the medicine or medical aid. Where possible, the advertisement shall include a call for a more thorough consultation on the effects of the medicine with a doctor or pharmacist.
Conflict of Interest
No specific natural person or a representative of a legal person shall act in the advertisement of medicines or medical aids, who may due to their function or business interests influence the consumption of medicines or medical aids.
ADVERISING OF SOME OTHER PRODUCTS
Foods for Particular Nutritional Uses and Food Supplements
(1) If the food for particular nutritional purposes and/or a dietary supplement are not intended as a substitute for food or drink, it shall not be presented in such a way in the advertisement.
(2) The advertisement of foods for particular nutritional uses or dietary supplements, which is not excluded by the generally binding legal regulations, is governed mutatis mutandis by the provisions of the Second and the Fifth Chapter of this part.
Infant Preparations and Other Supplementary Preparations
The advertisement of infant preparations and other supplementary preparations, which is not excluded by the generally binding legal regulations, is governed mutatis mutandis by the provisions of the Second and the Fifth Chapter of this part.
(1) Gambling advertisements are inadmissible if they are aimed at or determined to minors.
(2) An inadmissible advertisement is also the advertisement, which
a) instigates to participate in gambling games without consideration, or
b) may encourage creation or enhancement of addiction to gambling games.
(1) An advertisement shall not exploit the natural credulity of minors and their lack of life experience.
(2) Advertisements for product shall not contain any challenge aimed at minors implying in any way that if a minor does not buy a product or find any other person to have such a product purchased, the minor fails to fulfill any obligation against a third party or an organization; it is not yet critical whether the person or organization is the source of such a challenge.
(3) Advertisements shall not encourage minors to think that if the minor does not own the advertised product, he/she becomes in any way inferior in relation to other minors.
(4) Advertisements shall not directly or inappropriately indirectly encourage minors to persuade their parents or other adults with the objective to obtain the advertised product. Advertising aimed at children shall not imply the necessity or urgency of the purchase.
(5) Advertisements shall not give the children the feeling that their parents or other family members have not fulfilled any duty towards them.
(6) Advertisements should not affect children by using excessive violence.
(7) An advertisement shall not diminish or belittle the authority, responsibility, judgments or tastes of the parents or other adults responsible for education and health of minors.
(1) If an advertisement contains a link to a child contest or a competition aimed at children, then such competition rules shall be properly and appropriately disclosed.
(2) An advertisement for a product that is connected with or derived from the content of television or radio program for children can not be placed immediately before the broadcast of such a program or immediately after its broadcast.
(3) With respect to children, advertisements shall include
a) clearly distinguishable actual dimensions, characteristics and appearance of any advertising product,
b) real scenes easily distinguishable from fantasy.
Principles of Safety
(1) Any situations, in which there are minors acting in an advertisement, shall be carefully considered in terms of safety.
(2) Advertisements shall not encourage minors to go to unknown places and/or talk to strangers.
(3) Children shall not be displayed without supervision in scenes in the street if it is not obvious that they are mature enough to be responsible for their safety.
(4) Children shall not appear in advertisement playing in the street unless it is not obvious that it is an area solely designed for children’s games or other safe area.
(5) In advertisements where children appear as participants of road traffic it shall be evident that children act in accordance with safety rules and principles of road traffic.
(6) Minors may be displayed in hazardous or dangerous situations only if the advertisement is aimed at promoting safety and safety rules.
(7) In advertisements, the drugs, disinfectants, detergents, alkalis or other health-threatening agents may not be showed in the reach of children without parental supervision and no child handling with such products shall be presented in an advertisement in any way.
(1) Particular attention, especially with regard to nudity or other conditions of action, is required for advertising, in which a minor acts or appears as a model.
(2) Performance or other acting of children in advertisements shall not misuse the natural feelings of adults towards children.
As the way how minors perceive advertisements and respond to it, is subject to their age, experience and circumstances under which the specific message of an advertisement is received, the Committee takes into account the following general conditioning factors when assesing the advertisements.
Use of State Symbols
State symbols may be used in advertisements only in accordance with effective legal rules in a way which does not degrades or abuse their importance and dignity.
CONSUMER GAMES AND LOYALTY PROGRAMS
(1) An advertisement, whose part is formed of consumer competition, consumer game or any other similar consumer activity that is not gambling (hereinafter “consumer competition”) or an advertisement of a consumer competition shall not
a) promise that participation in the consumer competition is guaranteed to bring happiness to the consumer, unless each participant of the consumer competition is rewarded,
b) indicate that the absence in the consumer competition will bring bad luck.
(2) Before its start, every consumer competition shall have set clear rules that shall be adequately disclosed and made available on request to any consumer.
(3) From the rules of competition it shall be clear to an ordinary consumer a) what is the mechanism of the consumer competition,
b) who advertises the consumer competition,
c) who is involved in the consumer competition,
d) the terms and conditions under which a consumer can participate in the competition and
e) which prizes can be won in this competition and which conditions should be fulfilled for prizes obtaining.
(4) Independence of coincidental draw of winners shall be ensured.
(5) The names of winners shall be published (with their approval) in a way adequate to the competition itself and its rules.
Customer Loyalty Programs
The provisions of this Chapter shall apply mutatis mutandis also to consumer loyalty programs and advertising of a consumer loyalty program.
General Provisions on Mail-Order Advertising
(1) For the purposes of the Code, mail-order means any form of an offer to the consumer for sending or delivery of the product after receiving the order, if such sending or delivery relates to the obligation of the consumer to pay for a part of or for the whole product, or to make any other forced payment before the receipt of the product, regardless of where and how the receipt of the product by the consumer will take place.
(2) For the purposes of the Code, consignor means a natural or legal person on whose liability is the mail-order business performed. For the purposes of the Code, the consignor shall be considered to be the advertiser. If the consignor can not be determined, it is considered that the consignor is the person who ordered the dissemination of the advertisements, otherwise the advertiser.
(3) The provisions of this part relate to the advertising affected by means of mail-order and advertising, which is used in the mail-order.
(4) The provisions of this part shall apply mutatis mutandis to the advertising of products that are provided by electronic commerce.
Duties of the Consignor in the Mail-Order
(1) From the advertisements in the mail-order, it shall be clear to the average consumer who the consignor is. The average consumer shall also be able to simply and clearly identify particularly the name of the consignor and the actual address or place of business of the consignor. Specifying the actual registered address or place of business of the consignor can not be replaced with the telephone contact, e-mail contact or a contact postal address of the consignor, even if such address has not the form of P. O. Box.
(2) If there is also a coupon, a pre-printed order or a similar form of offer applied within the advertisement in the mail-order, this form shall include the name of the consignor and the actual address of the residence or place of business of the consignor. Temporary mailing addresses may not be used.
(3) The business name or the name of the consignor in the advertised address shall be displayed markedly and unmistakably.
(4) The consignor shall take the adequate measures in order to make sure that at the advertised address there is a competent person adequately dealing with the consumers’ issues within a reasonable time.
(5) The consignor shall be prepared to comply with any order raised by consumers on the basis of the advertisement, either immediately after the adoption of the order or within the period stated in the advertisement.
(6) If for any reason it is not possible to fulfill the order raised by a consumer immediately and the consignor did not indicate any date of sending or delivery of the product in the advertisement, the consignor shall send the consumer a confirmation of the order by mail or in the same way he received the order.
Each product sent or delivered to the consumer following the order applied according to the advertisement shall conform to the representation, display or other description of the product in the ad, as well as to the sample if it was part of the offer.
Restrictions of Mail-Order Advertising
An inadmissible advertisement for the mail-order is the advertising in conjunction with the product
a) whose sale or provision in the Slovak Republic is prohibited, or
b) that misuses superstition, especially mascots, talismans or charms for good luck.
Advertising through SMS, MMS and E-Mail
(1) Dissemination of advertisements via e-mail, SMS and/or MMS, is prohibited without the prior consent of the consumer. When obtaining such a granted consent the person disseminating the advertisement shall inform the consumer also about the possibility to withdraw such a granted consent at any time.
(2) It is prohibited to send advertisements if such advertisements do not identify the sender and the sender’s address to which the consumer may send a requirement concerning cancellation of sending of advertisements or a withdrawal of the consent to sending of advertisements.
(3) If a special offer (discount, reward, gift, consumer competition, etc.) is offered via e-mail, such an offer shall be easy to distinguish from the basic product advertisement, and the conditions shall be easily available, understandable and unequivocal.
(4) The provision of paragraph 1 is not required if it concerns direct marketing of own products and services of a competitor (who is also provider of the electronic communication services) targeted at the consumers who are users of such communication services and whose contact data for delivery of electronic mail the company obtained in connection with the sale of products and/or services to the consumer. The competitor shall also give the consumer an opportunity to simply and at no cost refuse such a use of the data.
The provisionsof this Chapter relate also to telemarketing.
COMMON, TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS
Commitments of the Council Members
(1) A member of the Council agrees with the wording of the Code and accept its content. It is not possible to make a reservation to any of the provisions.
(2) The member of the Council is committed to account of the provisions of the Code when assigning, implementation and dissemination of advertisement.
(3) Shall the Committee issue an arbitration finding that a particular advertisement is in breach of the Code, the member of the Council who participated at the assigning, implementation and dissemination of the advertisement, undertakes to take all necessary steps to prevent further dissemination of such advertisement.
(4) A member of the Council also undertakes to enter into contractual relationships, which give rise or disseminate advertising so that it can ensure compliance with the Code.
(5) A member of the Council also undertakes to advocate that also all other persons acting on the territory of the Slovak Republic in the field of advertising and other forms of promotion respect the objectives and the individual provisions of this Code.
(6) A collective member of the Council is commited to take actions necessary to ensure that all its members are bound by obligations under the commitments which they accepted as members of the Council taken under the paragraphs above.
Special Competency of the Council
The Council oversees the fulfillment of the obligations assumed by the members of the Council (Article 61) and enforces their implementation.
TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS
(1) Advertising, which was initiated to be spread to the general public by 31 August 2010, is assessed according to the ethical principles effective until 1 September 2010.
(2) Advertising, which was initiated to be spread to the general public earlier than 1 September 2010, is assessed according to the ethical principles effective until 1 September 2010 only when it comes to advertising with a testimonial and the testimonial was issued before 1 September 2010.
Ethical principles of advertising practice effective in the Slovak Republic, adopted by the General Assembly of the Council in 1995, as amended and supplemented are being repealed.
Validity and Effectiveness
(1) The Code becomes valid upon its approval by the General Assembly Council. (2) The Code becomes effective on 1 September 2010.
* * *
Approved by the General Assembly of the Slovak Advertising Standards Council, in Bratislava on 1 June 2010.
by the General Assembly of the Slovak Advertising Standards Council, in Bratislava on 1 June 2010.
*) Editorial note:
The text of the amendments adopted by the General Assembly RPR on 1 March 2011, 5. 3. 2012 and 15. 4. 2014 and 21.4.2015; text is available at <http://www.rpr.sk/sk/eticky-kodex>.
*) Editorial note:
Amendments to the Code, which was approved by the General Assembly RPR 1. 3. 2011, entered into force on that date also.
Amendments to the Code, which was approved by the General Assembly RPR 5. 3. 2012, entered into force on that date also.
Amendments to the Code, which was approved by the General Assembly RPR 15. 4. 2014, enter into (entered) into force on 1 6th, 2014.
Amendments to the Code, which was approved by the General Assembly RPR 21.4. 2015 shall come into force on 07.01.2015.