The Stichting Reclame Code (SRC) deals with the self-regulation system of advertising in The Netherlands. Self-regulation means that the advertising industry (advertisers, advertising agencies and the media) in cooperation with the Dutch Consumer Association (CB) formulates the rules with which advertising must comply. Both the advertising industry and consumers are represented in the board of SRC (consumers by the Consumentenbond) and in the Advertising Code Committee and the Board of Appeal.
The advertising rules can be found in the Dutch Advertising Code. Anyone who feels that an advertisement violates the Dutch Advertising Code may submit a complaint to the Advertising Code Committee. This independent body decides after a transparent and swift procedure whether an advertisement conflicts with the Dutch Advertising Code. In case of violation of the Code, the Committee will recommend the advertiser(s) involved to discontinue such a way of advertising. The Compliance department will thereupon check whether the advertiser has put the recommendation into effect. SRC also offers the advertising industry services like Copy Advice and training, to help them prevent violating the rules. In this way, SRC encourages responsible advertising.
For more information see the Dutch Advertising Code and Working procedure on this website.
Financing of the SRC
The SRC is funded by the advertising industry. The choice has been made to use a financing system where the advertiser (being the first link in the chain of advertiser>advertising agency>media) finances the self- regulation. The financing of the SRC is based on a system of apportionment of the costs, where advertisers contribute 0,025 % of their gross media spending to the SRC (system drawn up by Nielsen), € 250 per € 1 million. Pursuant to art. 19 of the Dutch Advertising Code an advertising organization or institution shall, at request of the chairman of the Committee, produce a valid proof of payment of the financial contribution as stipulated each year by the SRC.
SRC is a member of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) in Brussels. Together with all the other members EASA
promotes responsible advertising by providing detailed guidance on how to go about advertising self-regulation for the benefit of consumers and businesses.
EASA has a network of 41 organisations representing 27 advertising standards bodies (also called self-regulatory organisations) from Europe and 14 organisations
representing the advertising ecosystem (the advertisers, agencies and the media). EASA’s role is to set out high operational standards for advertising
self-regulatory systems. EASA also provides a space for the advertising ecosystem to work together at European and international level to address common challenges and make sure advertising standards are futureproof.
SRC and EASA are also part of the International Council on Ad Self-Regulation (ICAS) which was established in 2016 – an international platform to promote effective advertising
EASA has set up a cross-border complaints (CBC) system which has been in operation since 1992. The EASA CBC system provides a complainant with the same redress available to consumers in the country of origin of the media in which the advertisement appears. Following the ‘country of origin’ principle, an advertisement must comply with the rules of the country where the media that published it is based. There are some exceptions to this principle: in case of direct marketing (postal and telephone marketing), digital marketing communications and online behavioural advertising, the advertisement must follow the rules of the country where the advertiser is based.