There are numerous regulations and industry codes covering all aspects of marketing. Our companies are expected to understand and comply with their requirements and to take particular care in areas such as advertising to children and marketing of sensitive products such as tobacco.

In addition, our CR Policy and Code of Conduct contain guidance to our companies and employees on the standards we expect. We benchmarked our Code of Conduct during 2009 and strengthened clauses on CR.

Key extracts are shown here:

  • We will not knowingly create work which contains statements, suggestions or images offensive to general public decency and will give appropriate consideration to the impact of our work on minority segments of the population, whether that minority be by race, religion, national origin, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age or disability.
  • We will not undertake work which is intended or designed to mislead, including in relation to social, environmental and human rights issues.
  • We will consider the potential for clients or work to damage the Group’s reputation prior to taking them on. This includes reputational damage due to participating in business activities that abuse human rights.
  • WPP companies will not undertake work designed to mislead in any respect, including social, environmental and human rights issues.
  • WPP companies will comply with applicable regulations and self-regulatory codes of practice in the countries in which they operate.

Many professionals from our companies participate in industry groups and help to develop and evolve marketing codes of practice. For example, John Seifert, chairman of Ogilvy North America is on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA).