PROTECTING SOUTH AFRICAN CONSUMERS THROUGH RESPONSIBLE ADVERTISING
WELCOME TO THE ARB
The Advertising Regulatory Board was set up by the broader marketing and communications industry to protect the South African consumer through the self-regulation of advertising, including packaging.
The ARB administers the widely-accredited Code of Advertising Practice which regulates the content of South African advertising. The founding members of the ARB are the Marketing Association of South Africa (MASA), the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB).
Informed by the learnings of 50 years of self-regulation in South Africa, the ARB accepts complaints from consumers and businesses. Consumers can lodge a complaint on the Complaints page.
MARKETERS, ADVERTISING AGENCIES AND MEDIA COMPANIES CARRYING THESE SYMBOLS ARE COMMITTED TO RESPONSIBLE ADVERTISING
SUBMITTING A COMPLAINT ABOUT ADVERTISING, INCLUDING PACKAGING
The ARB decisions are governed by the CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE, which in turn is based upon the International Code of Advertising Practice, prepared by the International Chamber of Commerce.
This is internationally accepted as the basis for domestic systems of self-regulation. The principles laid down in the International Code are then contextualised to the particular circumstances of advertising in South Africa.
The Code is administered by the ARB, with the participation of representatives of the marketing and communications industries, and is amended from time to time to meet the changing circumstances and needs of business and our society.
This Code is supplemented by individual codes, which are determined by the various member organisations or negotiated with governmental institutions. These individual codes are reflected in the Appendices to the Code. The individual codes conform to the general principles laid down by the CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE, and differ only in terms of the individual needs of a particular sector.
How to find what you are looking for?
Sometimes, a particular industry has a whole set of specific rules, and these are in the Appendices.
Hover over each Guideline or Appendix name for an explanation of its contents. The Guidelines are not binding and should be consulted for guidance on certain specific issues only.
If you want to know how the complaint process works, then you should consult the Procedural Guide.
The Code is a dynamic instrument and is constantly reviewed. If you would like to make a code review submission, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember to always check the online Code to ensure that you are up to date. The revised code sections below are version 2021.1 - published 09 March 2021
The Sections of the Code, Procedural Notes and Appendices are available below, as downloadable PDF files
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