The Code of Advertising Practice (COAP) has been developed by Pakistan Advertisers Society to promote best professional and ethical practices in the field of advertising and to ensure that the right of advertising is a responsibility towards the consumers and the society at large.
It covers the entire range of advertising activity and amended whenever there is an issue that requires review or updating. Explicit guidelines and interpretation shall be provided by the Standing Committee of Code of Advertising Practice on a case-by-case basis.
The function of the Code is to complement, not to replace, the law of the land.
The basic tenets of the code are:
- It is held that the responsibility of advertisers, advertising agencies, media and other associated companies is a constructive force in business. To fulfill this responsibility, it is essential that the parties recognise their obligation to themselves and to each other.
- As a business the industry must operate in the spirit of vigorous competition honestly conducted.
- It is recognized that unethical competitive practices in the advertising business lead to financial waste, loss of prestige and to the weakening of public confidence, in both, the advertisements and the industry. The right of advertising is a responsibility towards the consumers and the society at large. Specifically, the society members will not create advertising that is:
- False or misleading visually or verbally.
- Claims insufficiently supported that distort the true meaning or practicable application of statements made by professional or scientific authority.
- Testimonials that do not reflect the real opinions of individuals involved.
- Price claims that are misleading.
- Statements, suggestions or pictures offensive to public decency or minority segments of the population.
- PAS has constituted a COAP Standing Committee (CSC). The CSC functions to implement and widen the workings of the Code.