Latest Industry News

23 March 2012

News: Coca-Cola backs new experiential industry code of practice

News from Promotional Marketing.jpgCoca-Cola Great Britain has welcomed the launch of a new Experiential Marketing Code of Conduct in the UK, and will be requiring all its marketing agencies to abide by the new rules.

The Experiential Marketing Code was developed to further strengthen the protections for consumers and marketers offered by the UK’s advertising self-regulatory system.

Paul Dwan, Assets and Experiential, Coca-Cola Great Britain, comments: “We’re pleased to have been working with the IPM to develop and launch the new Experiential Marketing Code of Conduct in the UK, advancing the regulations that are in place within the industry. Experiential and sampling activity is a big part of Coca-Cola Great Britain’s marketing strategy, across our portfolio of brands. We take our products to the hands of consumers in new and exciting ways to drive brand engagement as well as product trial, and we look forward to continuing to do this under the new code.”

Mike Hughes, Director General of the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA), the representative body for the UK’s client companies, says: “Self-regulation needs to constantly adapt to embrace emerging channels of marketing communications with consumers, and the Experiential Code is a valuable complement to the UK Advertising Codes in this regard.”

Experiential Marketing is a new and still evolving discipline, and marketers at both client companies and agencies were concerned that is not fully covered by the existing rules, known as the CAP Code.

The new Experiential Code was drawn up by a working group created by the Institute of Promotional Marketing, after representations from Coca-Cola Great Britain and other interested parties. This group included client, agency and staffing supplier members, and consulted with a range of other industry bodies, many of which had direct input into the resulting Experiential Code.

Bob Suppiah, Chairman of the IPM, says: “The UK leads the world in marketing precisely because we have a strong self-regulatory system. We constantly look for any gaps in this system and work together to address them.”

“Experiential Marketing is growing rapidly, and the CAP Code does not cover all techniques used in this area; so marketers were rightly worried that professionalism and quality could be harmed. That’s why it’s great to be able to develop this code that helps protect both consumers and marketers alike.”

The CAP Code already covers many marketing techniques that might be used in an experiential campaign, including leaflets, posters, mobile messaging, coupons and competitions.

But other crucial techniques, such as sampling, face-to-face marketing, ‘brand theatre’ or similar live performances with a marketing purpose, are not covered, and it is these elements which the new Experiential Marketing Code is designed to provide standards for.

The drafting process involved input from other marketing and related industry bodies. These include the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the Marketing Agencies Association (MAA), ISBA, the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC), Eventia and the alcohol industry self-regulatory body, the Portman Group.

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), the body responsible for writing the CAP Code, and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which rules on complaints against marketing communications under the CAP Code, were both consulted.

As of 29th February 2012, the IPM and the MAA have adopted the Experiential Marketing Code of Conduct. This means that the members of both organisations will be required to adhere to it, in the same way that they require their members to adhere to other codes, including the CAP Code.

The Direct Marketing Association intends to adopt the Code. A number of other marketing industry trade bodies are also likely to promote the Code to their members in the next few months.

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