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Cosmetics Europe launches updated Charter and Guiding Principles on Responsible Advertising and Marketing Communications

  • Last updated: September 15, 2020

Cosmetics Europe has announced today an updated version of the Charter and Guiding Principles on Responsible Advertising and Marketing Communications. First adopted in 2012, the Charter has been reviewed to better reflect the challenges of today’s highly digitalised world, in the context of fast-paced evolution of technologies and rapid development of new forms of digital advertising and marketing communication practices. 

The Charter and Guiding Principles on Responsible Marketing Communications continue to lay down the common ground for responsible advertising and marketing communications that respect the human being, body image and human dignity across Europe, via all media (print, tv, radio, internet), while complementing the existing comprehensive legislative framework.

As a responsible industry, we work proactively to promote best practices in delivering information to consumers. Self-regulation is a very important tool for our sector to demonstrate our voluntary and proactive commitments. Thanks to the updated Charter and Guiding Principles on Responsible Marketing Communications, we are able to continue to provide an additional level of consumer protection and enhance consumer trust through the promotion of responsible advertising and marketing communication“, said John Chave, Director General of Cosmetics Europe.

In response to the evolution of digital environment (including the use of artificial intelligence) and technologically-enhanced advertising practices, as well as the emergence of new societal trends in the use of social networks and media for advertising, the Charter re-emphasizes the importance of image honesty. For instance, it specifically underlines the need to make sure that digital techniques used do not alter images of models such that their body shapes or features become unrealistic and misleading regarding the performance achievable by the product. The advertiser should also ensure that the illustration of a performance of an advertised product is not misleading. Additionally, the Charter provides a set of new guidelines for influencer marketing, calling for practices that help consumers distinguish between genuine, unbiased opinions shared by influencers and the ones that are marketing.

The Charter also includes specific commitments with regard to responsible advertising and marketing communications towards vulnerable consumers, including children and teens, with a special focus on advertising via social media platforms, smartphone applications and games.

Another key area addressed in the Charter is the responsibility in promoting environmental benefits of products. Marketing communications should be so framed as to empower consumers to make sustainable choices. To achieve that, the Charter pays specific attention to a series of aspects concerning the general presentation of a product (e.g. visuals, colours), the use of images, symbols and logos, as well as the accuracy, relevance, clarity and substantiation of environmental claims.

The Charter and Guiding Principles on Responsible Marketing Communications were initially developed and subsequently updated in close cooperation with the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA), organisation promoting responsible advertising in commercial communications by means of effective self-regulation. The commitment is also aligned with the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code.

To read more about the Charter and Guiding Principles on Responsible Advertising and Marketing Communications and to download the official document, please click here.

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