From today, the communications industry will be governed by a formal set of ethics, as the Communication Agencies Association of NZ (CAANZ) introduces its new code.
The Code of Ethics, Practices, and Obligations of CAANZ Members has been developed as part of the CAANZ Executive Board’s long-term programme to more clearly demonstrate the value member agencies make to New Zealand business and society.
CAANZ ceo Paul Head says providing an overt and publicly stated set of guidelines governing member practices is the first step in changing some of the misconceptions held about the industry and bringing perceptions more closely in line with reality.
“This code isn’t necessarily about changing our members’ behaviour; it’s more to show that the communications industry already has a strong ethical underpinning. It’s about articulating what we already believe in and how we already operate.
“The reality for communication agencies today is far from the Mad Men stereotype; our members are professional businesses that are committed to bringing value to client organisations.”
The Code outlines standards that will underpin agency-client relationships, to formalise current practice around issues of confidentiality, acting in good faith and providing the best value.
Sandy Moore, CAANZ President and CEO of DDB Group New Zealand, said that an important driver in developing the code was assurance to businesses that member behaviour is aligned with shared standards and values.
“By choosing a CAANZ agency, clients can be assured that their agency will be transparent and ethical, and provide the best value for their investment,” he says.
The Code also ratifies a set of broad principles including member support of society, consumers, self-regulation bodies and employees, and standards around the level of public criticism of the industry.
CAANZ member agencies collectively represent 95% of agency billings in New Zealand, with a combined turnover of more than $1 billion, covering creative, media, digital and marketing communication disciplines.
The Code of Ethics, Practices, and Obligations of CAANZ Members is available to the public at www.caanz.co.nz.