Definition

The AANA Code of Ethics defines an advertising or marketing communication as:

Advertising or Marketing Communications means:

a. any material which is published or broadcast using any Medium or any activity which is undertaken by, or on behalf of an advertiser or marketer,

  • over which the advertiser or marketer has a reasonable degree of control, and
  • that draws the attention of the public in a manner calculated to promote or oppose directly or indirectly a product, service, person, organisation or line of conduct,

b. but does not include

  • labels or packaging for products
  • corporate reports including corporate public affairs messages in press releases and other media statements, annual reports, statements on matters of public policy and the like
  • in the case of broadcast media, any material which promotes a program or programs to be broadcast on that same channel or station.

Is it an ad?

In determining whether something is an advertising or marketing communication, Ad Standards will look at four key things:

  1. Is it something broadcast, published or done by an advertiser?
    The definition is very broad and covers much more than traditional advertisements. Activities undertaken by an advertiser, such as street performance, may well be considered an advertising or marketing communication.
  2. Is it under the reasonable control of an advertiser?
    Even if there is no payment involved in the creation or placement of the communication, such as a Facebook post on an advertiser’s own Facebook page, Ad Standards will consider something an advertisement if it is something the advertiser is able to control.
  3. Does it draw the attention of the public to promote or oppose something?
    It is considered an advertisement if it draws the public’s attention in order to promote or  oppose a product, service, person, organisation or line of conduct.
  4. Is it advertising to Australians?
    Ad Standards will consider all advertising or marketing communications where any of the customers of the product, service etc. are physically present in Australia and the advertising or marketing communications are directed to those customers.

Ad Standards will consider all types of advertising or marketing communications, including:

  • those shown on any medium, including television, radio, cinema, outdoor, online and social media
  • applications or games designed by an advertiser to draw attention to a particular product or business
  • sponsorship announcements such as “this program brought to you by . . . ”
  • advertorials and infomercials, including programs or parts of programs designed to attract consumers attention to a particular product
  • community service announcements
  • user generated content which is communicated via a site or digital platform over which the marketer has a reasonable degree of control
  • content which  refers to or depicts a product or service as part of a program’s script or other content, including superimposed text or visual matter
  • public relations material.

What is not an ad

Ad Standards will not accept complaints when the material complained about is:

  • product packaging or labels
  • corporate reports including corporate public affairs messages in press releases and other media statements, annual reports, statements on matters of public policy and the like
  • advertisement on broadcast media (pay-TV, TV and radio) which promote a program or programs on the same channel or station the advertisement is broadcast on.

For more information on complaints not in Ad Standards' jurisdiction please click here.