AmCham Macedonia Summer 2017 (Issue 54) - Page 14

COVER STORY Summer 2017 / Issue 54 Ethics and Self-regulation: a Perfect Match C ompanies find them- selves at a cross- roads: be more ethical internally and externally or risk alienating a critical popula- tion segment: millennials. Some research says that by 2025, 75% of the workforce will be millennials. This ‘Instagram generation’ cares about various social causes and wants to make a change. They are driven by issues such as environ- ment, poverty and gender equality. Soon enough, they will be compa- nies’ primary target as purchasing power rests in their hands. They will decide which brand to pick from a shelf or to order online. And when they do, they will likely pre- fer one they perceive to be most ethical. What is an ethical brand? It is a combination of a progressive inter- nal organizational structure (i.e., that awards merit, hires people of different backgrounds and allows women to thrive) with admirable external behavior visible to the world (e.g., advertising, demon- strations of social responsibility). Ethics in advertising is two-di- mensional: ad content and respect for the user experience. The content issue is related to the message itself. For example, a brand should not be disrespect- ful towards women and should not steer further gender stereo- typing by presenting them in a demeaning way. Likewise, alco- hol advertising should not appeal to children. Additionally, certain products should not be advertised as “green” or “eco” if their features are not scientifically proven. 14 AmCham Macedonia Magazine Stevan Randjelovic, European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) The good news is that the ad industry has been trying to sup- port ethical trade through self-regulation for decades now. In a majority of European agencies, brands and media came together and agreed on codes of conduct. Some countries have general codes of conduct, some have very specific ones (e.g., addressing advertising to children, alcohol), but what they all support decent, truthful and honest advertising. This is as it should be. These codes of conduct, enforced by self-regulatory organisations, are also recognised in various EU laws. EU and national law makers understood that the best way to regulate a sector as dynamic as advertising was to establish principles in regulation and allow the industry to build on it. Self-regulatory Organisations are grouped under the umbrella of the European Advertising Standards Alli- ance \H^HYH^[H\XX\[\]BۈܛXܙ\\\˂\\^\Y[H\HXۙ[Y[[ۈو^Hۘ\\KBX[H[HY][\KH^ۙ[X[\Hو8'Y['H\˜HYۈ]ۜ[Y\\Hۚ[[[\[\ݙ\B[Z[Yˈۈو] ۜ[Y\\H[ܙX\[HۋB\YX]Y\Z[XYۈZ\ۙ\܈X]˂YH\\HZ[Z[HH[\HY\H\\^\Y[H[ٙ\]\Y\\[[HXHۋB[Y\ۈZ\]H\Z[\Y H]\Y[][