First steps to define specific guidelines for new actors of the digital advertising area

In December 2010, the French advertising self-regulatory organization, (hereinafter, the “ARPP”) adopted new ethical rules related to “Digital Advertising”, targeting new media, formats and techniques.

These new rules consist essentially in an update of a former ARPP’s recommendation, dated 2000 and initially named “Internet, advertising support”, enlarging its field application, notably, to mobile advertising, social networks, video games and smart television.

The recommendation is divided into two parts.

Firstly, the ARPP reminds the main general principles which frame the online advertising regulation (roughly unchanged), defining six main general rules applicable to all digital supports or formats stressing the importance of the following points:

  • advertiser’s identification
  • minors’ protection
  • respect of human dignity
  • respect of a loyal, honest and truthful advertising
  • moderation of the contents created by Internet users
  • respect of the public’s expectations in terms of usability and accessibility in connection with digital media.

Then, the ARPP defines an interpretation grid, including 12 communication techniques and formats for which the aforementioned rules should be enforceable. These new techniques and formats are the following:

  • advergames
  • blogs/advertising forum
  • emails, SMS, MMS
  • in-game advertising
  • sponsored links
  • behavioural advertising
  • augmented reality
  • social networks
  • on demand audiovisual media and smart TV services on demand
  • teasing
  • virtual world
  • viral films.

Such recommendation will be effective next March 15. If it does not deeply change material rules related to online advertising, it is a first step to define specific guidelines for new actors of the digital advertising area. It clearly stresses the importance for all advertisers using new media and technologies to comply with the main applicable principles and regulation.

A similar position could be expected from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).


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