Code for People in Advertising

Note this code only applies to advertisements first placed before 01/11/18. For all new advertisements placed from 01/11/18, the Advertising Standards Code is applicable. The Code for People in Advertising will be retired from 01/02/19. More details about this transition can be found here.

Basic principles

  1. Advertisements should comply with the laws of New Zealand. Attention is drawn to the Human Rights Act 1993 and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.
  2. Advertisements should not portray people in a manner which is reasonably likely to cause serious or widespread hostility, contempt, abuse or ridicule.
  3. Advertisements should not portray people in a manner which, taking into account generally prevailing community standards, is reasonably likely to cause serious or widespread offence on the grounds of their gender; race; colour; ethnic or national origin; age; cultural, religious, political or ethical belief; sexual orientation; marital status; family status; education; disability; occupational or employment status.
  4. Stereotypes may be used to simplify the process of communication in relation to both the product offered and the intended consumer. However, advertisements should not use stereotypes in the portrayal of the role, character and behaviour of groups of people in society which, taking into account generally prevailing community standards, is reasonably likely to cause serious or widespread offence, hostility, contempt, abuse or ridicule.
  5. Advertisements should not employ sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative and degrading of any individual or group of people in society to promote the sale of products or services. In particular people should not be portrayed in a manner which uses sexual appeal simply to draw attention to an unrelated product. Children must not be portrayed in a manner which treats them as objects of sexual appeal.
  6. Humour and satire are natural and accepted features of the relationship between individuals and groups within the community. Humorous and satirical treatment of people and groups of people is acceptable, provided that, taking into account generally prevailing community standards, the portrayal is not likely to cause serious or widespread offence, hostility, contempt, abuse or ridicule.
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