Our code of marketing practice, which applies equally to all Diageo businesses around the world, defines the principles by which we and our agencies work when creating advertisements and promotions and when bringing new brands to market.
The code applies over and above compliance with regulations administered by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), and our own rules are often more stringent than those required by law. For example, although by regulation advertisements for alcohol beverages cannot be broadcast before an 8pm ‘watershed’, to reduce the risk of reaching minors still further it is our policy not to issue advertisements before 9pm. At the promotional events we hold in Nigerian bars, proof of age is required and consumers are denied entry if they are under 21 or, if there is doubt, if they appear to be younger than 25.
Compliance with the letter and spirit of the marketing code is mandatory for all our employees and marketing or advertising agencies. All our marketing employees and agencies have been trained in the code and refresher workshops are held every six to nine months. Agency contracts include clauses on compliance with the code. Every advertisement, promotion, event and new product specification goes through a formal sign-off process, including authorisation by the head of marketing, before it is released to help ensure that it fully complies with our standards of responsibility. Compliance with the code is formally reviewed and incorporated in a global Diageo business audit process.
These strict measures ensured that no breaches of our code were identified during the year and the Advertising Standards Panel, the body that receives public concerns about advertisements, upheld no complaints about our advertising. We regularly review the code of marketing practice as new issues emerge.