A Comparative Analysis of Advertising and Food Safety
Private Regulation series
Chapter 4: Institutional design of advertising code enforcement
Codes of conduct developed by the advertising industry have traditionally been enforced by SROs that operate at the national, rather than transnational, level. This chapter examines the institutional design of code enforcement and determines how SROs promote and achieve compliance with the codes of conduct they oversee. The chapter will do so by investigating the regimes in place in the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The regimes in these jurisdictions represent four different models of code enforcement based on the type of procedures they use to assess and ensure compliance, and the extent to which their practices are recognised by or embedded in the national legal framework applying to advertising. In relation to the first variable, the regimes in place in the UK and France deploy a variety of instruments to proactively secure compliance, whereas the German and Dutch regimes principally rely on incoming complaints on publicised advertising to take (reactive) enforcement action. As regards the second variable, the British and Dutch regimes enjoy strong backing of local public authorities, while public authorities in France and Germany have largely disregarded the national private regimes. This fact is important as it is likely to determine the type of relationship between public and private enforcement activities.
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