The Polish self-regulatory system dates from 2006, when its predecessor, established in 1997, underwent major restructuring. A new SRO, the Związek Stowarzyszeń Rada Reklamy (Union of Associations Advertising Council), was launched in 2006 with a new code of practice and a new membership structure. Since then the SRO has expanded its activities to include copy advice and monitoring, increased its membership and raised public awareness of the system.
Rada Reklamy handles complaints from both consumers and competitors. Consumer complaints are handled free of charge, as are complaints lodged by a member, but complaints by a company not in membership of the SRO are subject to a fee of 5.000 zł +VAT (approximately 1.200 euros*). Consumer complaints can be submitted through an on-line form on the Rada Reklamy website or by sending a standard mail or fax. On receiving a complaint (with the necessary details to identify the advertisement in question) Rada Reklamy asks the advertiser concerned for a formal response within 10 days. After this period the case is referred to a Adjudication Panel of the Committee of Advertising Ethics which delivers an adjudication. Rada Reklamy has a panel of experts, approved by its Board, and the Committee of Advertising Ethics may consult an external expert if the case requires it. On average, a complaint adjudication takes 30 days.
The 30 regular members of the Rada Reklamy Committee of Advertising Ethics are elected by the General Assembly from candidates nominated by industry representatives and serve for a two-year period. Members are recruited from member organisations of Rada Reklamy (representing media, agencies and advertiser from different sectors). Every complaint is judged by the Adjudication Panel, whose Members shall not be linked to any party by kinship or legal bond under a regular employment contract, short-term employment contract, specific-task contract or other contract to similar effect.
There is also a 31st member of the Commission of Ethics - a legal adviser who assists with complaints handling and adjudication procedures, but has no voting power.
The appeals committee consists of three members of the Commission of Ethics which did not adjudicate in that specific case.
Copy advice is provided free of charge upon request for members; non-members can access this service for a fee. The Secretariat of Rada Reklamy provides copy advice, usually within three working days. Copy advice is free of charge for members; non-members pay a fee of 1.000 zł + VAT. Rada Reklamy does not pre-clear advertising.
The members of Rada Reklamy – associations representing the advertising industry – do not directly fund the SRO. The system is funded by individual advertisers, agencies and media organisations who, although not direct members of Rada Reklamy, are usually affiliated to its association members. These individual advertisers are known as sponsors and contribute a fee to the SRO. The fee is calculated, in the case of advertisers on advertising spend, and in the case of media on share of the media market. Agencies pay a fixed fee. Each sponsor signs an agreement to respect the code and receives a 'certificate of ethical advertising'.
Documents in English
- Code of Ethics in Advertising
- Appendix 2a to the Code of Ethics in Advertising
- Complaints Handling Rules
- Statute of the Union of Associations "Advertising Council"