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Media organisations

The affiliation obligation under the Dutch Media Act
Media organisations

Explanation

About the obligation of affiliation under the Dutch Media Act, the activities of the Advertising Code Foundation and the accelerated procedure for media organisations.

Are you a media organisation and do you provide advertising and/or teleshopping communications*, or do you plan to do so?

Under the Media Act you are obliged to affiliate with the Advertising Code Foundation (SRC) and to comply with the Dutch Advertising Code (NRC). The information on this web page explains what this affiliation entails, how it can be arranged and what the Advertising Code Foundation can do for you. You can also read about the special accelerated procedure that you can use if you do not want to broadcast an advertising communication that has been offered, because you consider it contrary to the rules.

What does affiliation mean?

In short, the affiliation as laid down in the Media Act means that you recognize the principles and bylaws of the SRC on responsible advertising and endorse the rules of the Advertising Code Committee and the Board of Appeal. If you are a national public media institution, affiliation is arranged through Ster. The affiliation means that you review the main points of the advertising communications offered and check whether they comply with the Dutch Advertising Code (‘marginal review’). Within the framework of a complaints procedure you shall also keep track of the advertisement you broadcast and make them available to the secretariat of the SRC upon request. If, according to the Advertising Code Committee or the Board of Appeal, a communication violates the rules, you are deemed to cease its broadcast. You are also required by law to pay an annual financial contribution to the SRC. Through the legally required affiliation, you as a media organisation contribute to the promotion of responsible advertising.
* Hereinafter, advertising and/or teleshopping communications are always referred to by the umbrella term ‘advertisement’.

What does the Advertising Code Foundation do?

The Advertising Code Foundation has been the body in the field of self-regulation of advertising for more than 55 years. The SRC promotes responsible advertising with the aim of ensuring the reliability and credibility of advertising. To this end, the Dutch Advertising Code lays down the rules with which advertising must comply. The SRC facilitates the complaints procedure with the Advertising Code Committee and the appeal procedure with the Board of Appeal. In the event of a complaint these independent bodies assess whether an advertisement complies with the rules of the Dutch Advertising Code. When the Advertising Code Committee or the Board of Appeal, as the case may be, establish a violation of the Dutch Advertising Code following a complaint, the Compliance Department checks whether the advertiser in question complies with the decision. In case of an established violation you as a media organisation are obliged to cease broadcasting the advertisement concerned or making it available to the public. In addition, the SRC offers various services to promote responsible advertising, such as training, copy advice, monitoring and analysis of advertising and education through websites.

How can I apply for the affiliation?

You register with the SRC via finance@reclamecode.nl and then receive an information package, the conditions of affiliation and the Personal Statement. Subsequently, by means of the Personal Statement you must specify whether you include or intend to include advertising in your media offer. If this is the case, you will receive an invoice from the SRC. For the amount of your financial contribution please see here. By paying the invoice you agree to the conditions of affiliation and you comply with the legal obligation of affiliation.

What does the marginal review entail?

The legal obligation of affiliation with the Advertising Code Foundation and the Dutch Advertising Code means that you must perform a marginal check on advertising communications offered for broadcasting. This is marginal because, for example, you cannot check whether the products offered in the advertising communication are actually available in the stores. However, you can check whether, for example, obligatory slogans (as in the case of alcohol and games of chance advertising) are mentioned or whether in a car advertisement the engine power is expressed in kW and not (only) in hp. Decisions of the Advertising Code Committee can be found in the online decisions database at www.reclamecode.nl. If you have any questions about a certain advertising communication, you can always contact the Compliance Departmentof the Advertising Code Foundation viacompliance@reclamecode.nl or 020 301 33 90.

The advertiser disagrees with you and within 7 days of receiving your objection files a reasoned opposition with the chairperson of the RCC.
You must respond within 7 days from receipt of the advertiser’s opposition
by submitting a statement of defenseObjection by media organisation to advertising communication offered
What if I object to an advertising communication being offered? If, after carrying out the marginal review, you are of the opinion that an advertising communication offered does not comply with the Dutch Advertising Code and you do not wish to broadcast or otherwise make it available to the public (anymore), you and the advertiser can make use of the following accelerated procedure with the chairperson of the Advertising Code Committee (RCC). This procedure is also available for Ster, Roos and Olon.
You must urgently inform the advertiser in writing, stating the reasons why you do not wish to broadcast/make available the advertising communication offered (anymore)
You agree with the advertiser to speed up the procedure and jointly ask for a decision from the chairperson of the RCC as soon as possible
The chairperson of the Advertising Code Committee assesses whether the advertising communication complies
The chairperson does not find the communication contrary to the NRC
The chairperson finds the communication contrary to the NRC
The advertiser may lfile an objection with the full Advertising Code Committee
OR
If the advertiser agrees with the ruling, he shall amend or withdraw the advertising communication
You may file an objection with the full Advertising Code Committee OR If you agree with the ruling you can (re)broadcast the advertising communication.
The advertiser acknowledges the objection and modifies or withdraws the advertising communication.
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After a decision of the Advertising Code Committee, an appeal can still be lodged with the Board of Appeal. It goes without saying that you are free to include a provision in your general terms and conditions to the effect that you can also refuse advertising communications offered to you for reasons that are not based on the NRC.In that case, the above-mentioned procedure is not applicable.

Can I attend a training course?

It is possible to acquire practical and relevant knowledge about the rules of the Dutch Advertising Code in a compact training course. The Compliance, Advice and Training department of the SRC provides training courses (for a fee) on the rules for advertising and the complaints procedure with the Advertising Code Committee. For you as a media organisation, a tailor-made training course can be arranged. For example, an explanation of advertising rules for the protection of children with corresponding guidelines for timing (at what time is it allowed to broadcast a commercial that may not be suitable for children?) and misleading advertising (how long should a disclaimer be on screen and how large should the letters be? To what extent is it allowed to refer on TV to the terms and conditions on a website?). If interested, please contact us at compliance@reclamecode.nl. For general training offerings, see the Training section at www.reclamecode.nl.

Where can I find more information?

  • If you would like more information about the Advertising Code Foundation, please visit the website: www.reclamecode.nl.
  • The rules of the Dutch Advertising Code and the procedures of the Advertising Code Committee and the Board of Appeal can be found at www.reclamecode.nl/nrc.
  • The decisions of the (chairperson of the) Advertising Code Committee and the Board of Appeal can be found in the online decisions database. Please register for an RSS feed to stay informed about the most recent decisions. This can be done via the website of the SRC, see www.reclamecode.nl/rssuitspraken.asp.
  • If you want to know more about the content of the rules explained through rulings, please visit www.checksrc.nl/check.You can also do a quick check to see if an advertisement complies with the rules at www.checkdereclamecode.nl

If you have any questions about the affiliation, the Personal Statement and payment of the financial contribution, please contact the Finance Department at finance@reclamecode.nl.

For questions about the content of the Dutch Advertising Code, the complaints procedure and training courses, please contact the Compliance Department at compliance@reclamecode.nl.

Newsletter
To keep up with the latest developments, we encourage you to sign up for the quarterly newsletter (in Dutch) at www.reclamecode.nl.

Contact
If you have any questions about the affiliation, the Personal Statement and payment of the financial contribution, please contact the Finance Department at finance@reclamecode.nl.
For questions about the content of the Dutch Advertising Code, the complaints procedure and training courses, please contact the Compliance Department at compliance@reclamecode.nl.
Advertising Code Foundation
Buitenveldertselaan 106 1081 AB Amsterdam
Telephone 020 – 301 33 97
@StReclameCode Advertising Code Foundation
www.reclamecode.nl
www.srcbijdrage.nl

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Nederlandse Reclame Code
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