The IPM has been heavily involved in the development of a new Code of Conduct for Experiential Marketing, which launches today with backing from regulators, other marketing trade bodies and major clients including Coca-Cola Great Britain.
Mike Hughes, the 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.”
The Experiential Marketing Code was developed to further strengthen the protections for consumers and marketers offered by the self-regulatory system that covers advertising and marketing in the UK. Experiential Marketing is a new and still evolving discipline, and marketers at client companies and agencies alike were concerned that is not fully covered by the existing rules, known as the CAP Code.
The Experiential Marketing Code drafting process involved input from 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, ands the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which rules on complaints against marketing communications under the CAP Code, were both consulted.
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.”
Coca-Cola Great Britain will be requiring all its marketing agencies to abide by the new Experiential Marketing Code.
Bob Suppiah, chairman of the IPM, says: “The UK leads the world in marketing precisely because we have a strong self-regulatory system: but any gaps in this system could leave the marketing industry vulnerable to criticism and could lead to calls for legislation to control experiential activities.”
Suppiah adds: “Experiential Marketing is growing rapidly, and coupled with confusion over how the CAP Code applies to the sector, marketers were rightly worried that professionalism and quality could be harmed. We need rules that protect consumers and marketers alike.”
Ian Millner, co-founder and joint chief executive of Iris Worldwide and chairman of the Marketing Agencies Association, observes: “The Experiential category is made up of a collection of highly influential and immediate disciplines. It is important that we can ensure that our entire industry, above and below the line, can collaborate in a meaningful way to achieve the dual objectives of protecting both the consumer and the practitioner.”
Marcus Sandwith, managing director of promotional marketing agency group Haygarth, comments: “While most agencies will have been following best practice, this code will give clear parameters and will mean that brands, agencies and the public will be far better protected moving forward.”
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 including the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP).
This working 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.
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 tackle.
As of 29 February 2012, the IPM and the MAA have both 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 will promote the Code to their members in the next few months.
To download the Experiential Code click here.
To download the EMCC logo click here.